Nine in 10 women who were murdered by men in 2016 were killed by someone they knew, a new report has revealed.
The Femicide Census compiled by Women's Aid found that a total of 113 women were killed by men in England, Wales and Northern Ireland between January 1st and December 31st of last year.
Some 78 of these women - or 69% of victims - were murdered by either their partner or a former partner. A total of 85 women - or 75% of the victims - were murdered by men in their own home.
The vast majority of women who were murdered by a former partner or husband were killed within a year of that relationship ending.
The report recommends that the government puts femicide - the killing of girls and women by men, on account of their gender - at the centre of its work to reduce violence against women. It also recommends that the government do more to safeguard the future of refuges for women who experience domestic abuse.
“Without a safe space to escape to, more women will be killed by men that they know," Women's Aid's Chief Executive Katie Ghose told The Guardian. "The government must act now. Refuges are a vital lifeline, not an optional extra; they are not just a bed for a night but essential for women and their children to safely escape domestic abuse and rebuild their lives away from the perpetrator. A crucial part of preventing more fatalities must be to ensure sufficient provision for domestic abuse and sexual violence services, including refuges."
Just last month Women's Aid warned that the UK's domestic abuse refuges are under threat because of the government's proposed reforms to supported housing funding.
Katie Ghose today echoed the charity's call to improve funding for refuges, saying: "Only by creating a long-term and sustainable funding model for a national network of refuges can we ensure that every woman can safely escape domestic abuse."