The feminist Twitter account Counting Dead Women, has this morning been tweeting every death in the UK caused as a result of domestic violence from the past year.
Karen Ingala Smith, CEO of nia, a London-based domestic violence and sexual violence charity that works to end violence against women and girls, launched the Counting Dead Women Twitter account, in order to raise awareness about the sheer enormity of the problem.
9 April 2015: Cecilia Powell, 95, was killed by her son. David Powell, 73. She died of head injuries. He was found guilty of manslaughter.— CountingDeadWomen (@CountDeadWomen) November 25, 2015
Although many sites and charities are dedicated to ending violence against women, Smith takes a personal approach, by naming the women, revealing their ages, and the circumstances surrounding their tragic deaths. The list hits home how real these victims are – not mere statistics but daughters, friends, mothers and sisters.
This morning’s list serves only to emphasise the continuing problem our society faces with violence against women, and Twitter’s 140 character limitation, means that each death is presented in a stark manner. Reading the feed is utterly harrowing.
26 March 2015: Jill Goldsmith, 49, died of head injuries. Her husband Otis Goldsmith, 49, a police officer was charged with her murder.— CountingDeadWomen (@CountDeadWomen) November 25, 2015
Statistics show that on average, two women are killed every week by a current or former partner; 1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic violence in their lifetime; and domestic violence remains the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless.
Additionally, domestic violence has more repeat victims than any other crime with victims being subjected to an average of 35 assaults before they call the police.
15 March 2015: Melissa Liddle, 23, was stabbed to death by her partner Anthony Ross, 24.— CountingDeadWomen (@CountDeadWomen) November 25, 2015
A shocking revelation last month exposed by Women’s Aid, revealed that 1 in 2 boys and 1 in 3 girls think it is sometimes acceptable to hit a woman – emphasising the crucial need to education in this area.
The decision by Counting Dead Women to tweet the list of all the women who have been killed as a result of domestic violence this year, comes in the midst of an inquiry into the death of 20-year-old Hollie Gazzard, who was violently murdered by her boyfriend, Asher Maslin in Gloucester in February 2014.
1 February 2015: Christina Randell, 51, was stabbed to death by her husband Deland Allman, 51— CountingDeadWomen (@CountDeadWomen) November 25, 2015
The inquiry has found that Maslin has been involved in 24 separate violent incidents with Gazzard, as well as others with previous girlfriends, and his own mother.
Gazzard’s father has been speaking out about the importance of identifying the warning signs, and supporting victims so they feel safe to report such abuse.
Do you suffer from domestic violence - or does someone you know need help? Find support at refuge.org.uk