Names of women killed by male violence read out in parliament

Ellen Manning
·5-min read

Watch: Names of women killed by male violence read out in Parliament

This is the moment Labour MP Jess Phillips reads out the names of women killed by men in the past 12 months.

It took Phillips, who is shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, four-and-a-half minutes to read out the 117 names of women killed in the UK where a man has been convicted or charged as the primary perpetrator.

It came as part of Thursday's House of Commons debate marking International Women's Day.

Phillips said: "Killed women are not vanishingly rare, killed women are common."

It took Jess Phillips four-and-a-half minutes to read out the 117 names of women killed in the UK where a man has either been convicted or charged as the primary perpetrator. (Parliamentlive.tv)
It took Jess Phillips four-and-a-half minutes to read out the 117 names of women killed in the UK where a man has either been convicted or charged as the primary perpetrator. (Parliamentlive.tv)

The MP for Birmingham Yardley carries out the ritual each year. This year's came a day after human remains were found in the search for missing Sarah Everard, who vanished while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on 3 March.

A Metropolitan Police officer has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

After reading out the 117 names, Phillips addressed Everard's disappearance as she said: "We have all prayed that the name of Sarah Everard would not be on any list.

"Let’s pray every day and work every day to make sure nobody’s name ends up on this list again."

Earlier this week, Phillips warned that women’s advancement in society had been “set back” by the coronavirus pandemic, and would likely lead to more domestic abuse in the future.

In an interview marking International Women’s Day, she said: “I think the pandemic has set women back in lots and lots of different areas and the level of risk will no doubt have massively increased during the lockdown, as opposed to the actual pandemic itself.

Read more: International Women’s Day 2021 theme, the history of IWD and why we celebrate

“The lockdown will have massively increased people’s risk register at the same time as decreasing their opportunities for escape.

“But not even escape – escape is too big a term – their opportunities to be in front of somebody else, whether that is someone in the shop or a teacher in their kids’ class, or their social worker, their staff, their colleagues.

“We just have eliminated touch points that keep people safe and women’s risk assessments at home are based on those touch points and when they are removed the risk will have skyrocketed.”

Watch: Reclaim These Streets vigil planned as women share anger at constant safety fears

She said the pandemic will not have caused more domestic abuse and made people “batter their wives” – but rather that the “availability to abuse and the level of abuse that they could commit will have massively increased”.

“The single thing that I think has set women back during the pandemic is actually going to be borne out – and it is the single thing that means that women are less likely or less able to escape and more likely to become victims of domestic abuse in the future – and that is their economic independence.

“Women’s economic independence, women’s ability to work, women’s ability to advance in their careers has definitely been put back by the pandemic.

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She added: “Women’s jobs are the first to go and they’ll be the last to come back, and we see over and over again all sorts of harrowing statistics about parents, mothers especially, being 10 times more likely to have lost their job or to be due to lose their job in the next few months.

“And the reason that victims of domestic abuse exist is because of the balances in our society between men and women, and so it is no small thing, but I imagine there will be more domestic abuse in the future, not less…

“(It’s) because women’s advancement in society has been set back by the pandemic and by the fact that there has been nothing targeted to appease that.”

On Thursday morning, ahead of reading her list in the Commons, Phillips shared several statistics including a 23% drop in rape convictions last year and a 24% fall in the prosecution of domestic abuse by the end of 2019, saying: "We are not tough on crimes against women and children perpetrated by men".

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics last month suggested domestic abuse-related offences recorded by police forces in England and Wales rose by 10% in a year, despite overall crime falling in the pandemic.

Some 842,813 domestic abuse-related offences were recorded by police forces in England and Wales in the year ending September 2020 – up from 769,611 the previous year.

Meanwhile, figures provided to the Commons home affairs committee suggested calls and contacts logged by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline increased by 34% to 114,986 between April and December, compared to 85,771 for the same period in 2019.

Watch: Conservative MP Dehenna Davison explains why she is proud to launch the APPG for One Punch Assaults