Femicide Watch: 230 women have died violently in State since 1996

Women’s Aid charity has monitored killing of women and girls by men for 23 years

Skaidrite Valdgeima (34), mother of three from Latvia, one of five women who died violently in State in 2019

Skaidrite Valdgeima (34), mother of three from Latvia, one of five women who died violently in State in 2019

 

A total of 230 women have died violently in the State over the past 23 years, according to a report from Women’s Aid, published on Friday.

The charity has been monitoring femicide, the killing of women and girls by men and on account of their gender, in Ireland since 1996.

Its report, Femicide Watch 2019, says of the 230 women who have died violently between 1996 and 2019, 40 cases (17 per cent) remain unresolved while 10 (4 per cent) are awaiting trial.

Women’s Aid said the information has been compiled using newspaper and online news records. The report says 180 cases (79 per cent) have been “resolved”, either through the criminal justice system or where the perpetrator died shortly after the incident or while awaiting trial and was believed to be the killer.

Sixteen children have died alongside their mothers while 141 of the women died in their own homes (61 per cent).

The figures include the cases of Deirdre Jacob, who disappeared in 1998 and Fiona Pender who vanished in 1996, along with other women who went missing and are feared dead.

Five women have died violently this year: Jasmine McMonagle (28), Elzbieta Piotrowska (57), Cathy Ward (41), Skaidrite Valdgeima (34) and Valerie French Kilroy (41).

Protection

Sarah Benson, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said Femicide Watch began in 1996 because “we knew we needed to record these killings to illustrate the danger posed to women and to build a better understanding to increase protection for women and children”.

“Today, Women’s Aid will continue the difficult and sensitive work of trying to break the pattern of male violence against women in the hope to prevent further loss of life.”

Last year, 19,089 contacts were made with the charity during which 16,994 disclosures of domestic violence against women and 3,728 disclosures of child abuse were made.

The charity’s helpline support workers heard 898 disclosures where the man told the woman he would kill her, the children, a family member or himself.

Women’s Aid also noted 3,816 disclosures of physical abuse, including reports of men who had choked, smothered, beaten or threatened to beat their partners with a weapon. There were 561 disclosures of stalking – online and in person – and 141 reports of assault during pregnancy.