The Femicide Census and Men Who Kill Women, by Dr. Ann Olivarius

An excerpt from a blog by Dr. Ann Olivarius


Women who are killed by men because they are women


“31 December 2014 was not only the last day of the year for Sandra Brotherton (60) and Nadine Aburas (28); it was also the last day of their life.  They were two out of the 150 women buried by their loved ones in 2014 having been killed by men.  The names of the women and the details of the deaths are available thanks to one woman’s initiative.

Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of nia, noticed that in the first three days of 2012 eight women had already been reported as murdered.  Smith started tweeting the names of the women and realized she could not turn back.  The project was born: Counting dead women.   By the end of 2012 she had a list with over 100 names, a list that grew as she received more information from families and friends of women who had been murdered.  The numbers are frightening: in the UK, 143 women were killed by men in 2013 and 150 in 2014.


The Femicide Census consists of details of around 700 homicides between 2009 and 2013 where women have been killed by fatal male violence.  In almost half of the incidents the perpetrator was an intimate partner or an ex-partner.  6% of the women were killed by their sons, which is more than the 3% who were killed during a burglary.  In roughly 30% of the cases the relationship (if any) between the woman and the murderer is unknown.


The Femicide Census and Ingala Smith’s initiative remind us of the large scale of male violence against women.  It also reminds us that violence (whether the victim is a man or a woman) is neither natural nor inevitable.  Many of these deaths could have been prevented.  It is not an issue of the criminal justice system alone (which still is in great need for improvement), but of the society as a whole. These women deserve for their names not to be forgotten, but also to be used as part of the solution to the epidemic of violence against women.”



This is an excerpt of the blog. Please CLICK HERE to read the whole blog:


Please click here for the Women’s Aid website and to find out more about the Femicide Census:


Related articles:

1. “Why femicide won’t end until we have a truly equal society”

2. “‘We record all the killing of women by men. You see a pattern’”



Ann+OlivariusDr. Ann Olivarius is Chair of the Executive Committee at McAllister Olivarius and has been at the forefront of fighting for women’s rights for decades. She was deeply involved in litigating a landmark civil rights case, Alexander v. Yale, which for the first time found that sexual harassment within a university was illegal.