Women more likely to be killed in their homes by current or former partners

A report also shows 16 children were killed alongside their mothers

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A charity says Irish women are more likely to be killed in their own homes and by current or former partners.

A new report from Women’s Aid outlines the number of women killed in Ireland over 20 years.

It says 209 women have died violently since the beginning of 1996 - while 16 children were killed alongside their mothers.

Women’s Aid is urging greater recognition of risk factors, and the introduction of domestic homicide reviews.

The report coincides with UN Day Opposing Violence against Women and it will also mark a nationwide moment of remembrance for victims of femicide in Ireland.

Margaret Martin, director of Women’s Aid, says: "Lethal violence is at the most severe end of the spectrum of violence against women.

"We know where women are killed. We know how women are killed and by whom. And we know why. It is time to act.

"Femicide must not be accepted as a fact of life. Women should be safe in their homes and in their relationships.

"And we must recognise the strong connection between the killing of women and domestic violence."

The charity says since the beginning of 1996, 131 women (63%) were killed in their own homes.

Where the cases have been resolved - through the courts or in cases of murder-suicide - 89 women (54%) were murdered by a current or former male intimate partner.

Another 54 women (33%) were killed by a male relative or acquaintance while 21 women were murdered by a stranger.

Ms Martin continues: "In 2015 we heard over 22,000 disclosures of abuse of women and children. Every day on the Women’s Aid 24-hour National Freephone Helpline we hear from women who live on a knife edge of fear and it would be wrong to underestimate the scale and impact of violence against women."

Last year there were 970 threats to kill women, children and family members disclosed to Women’s Aid.

There were 579 additional disclosures of assaults with weapons, threats with weapons and being strangled and smothered.

Key statistics from the Women’s Aid Femicide Report include:

  • 209 women have died violently in the Republic of Ireland. 16 children were killed alongside their mothers
  • 131 women were killed in their own homes (63%)
  • In the resolved cases, 89 women were murdered by a partner or ex-partner (54%). Another 54 women were killed by a male relative or male acquaintance (33%)
  • In total, 87% of women were killed by a man they knew
  • There have been 22 cases of murder suicide in this time. In 21 of these cases the killer was a partner or ex of the victim

There were 16,375 disclosures of domestic abuse of women and 5,966 disclosures of abuse of children made to Women’s Aid Direct Services in 2015.

The Women’s Aid 24-hour National Freephone Helpline is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. They can be contacted on 1800-341-900 or on their website

All this week Newstalk and COSC - National Office for the Prevention of Domestic Sexual and Gender Biased Violence - are also campaigning to increase the awareness of domestic and sexual violence.

If you have been affected by anything mentioned in this article, you can call the COSC helpline on 046-902-3718 or visit www.whatwouldyoudo.ie.