What is Femicide?
- Every day 137 women across the world are killed by a partner or member of their own family (UN Global Study on Homicide: Gender Related Killing of Women and Girls, 2018).
Each year we publish updated figures on the number of women killed by their partners or ex-partners since we began collecting data in 1996.
Femicide is broadly understood as the killing of women and girls by men. It differs from male homicide in specific ways as most cases of femicide are committed by partners or ex-partners. It is a term used to describe killings of women and girls precisely because they are women and girls.
Femicide is both a cause and a result of gender inequality and discrimination, both of which are root causes of all violence against women.
Femicide is often linked to ongoing emotional, physical, sexual and economic abuse including coercive control perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner against a woman. The understanding of femicide as the murder of a woman because of her gender is important.
We know that although men are much more likely to be victims of homicide in general at the hands of a wide range of perpetrators, women who are murdered are highly likely to have been murdered by an intimate partner, ex-intimate partner or family member.
Why do we Track Femicide Figures?
Domestic violence and abuse kills women. It kills children too. The types of abuse and behaviour that precedes intimate partner femicide mirrors what we hear from women each day on our 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 and at our regional support services.
We know just how dangerous domestic violence abuse can be and that unfortunately, the horrendous catalogue of incidents that women disclose to us every day are just the tip of the iceberg. More public awareness of the signs, signals and patterns that lead to femicide is needed.