Wera Hobhouse calls for misogyny to be made a hate crime after research reveals women killed by men in 28% of murders

House of Commons Library Research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has today revealed that 28% of all murder cases since 2016 are women murdered by men.

Since the brutal murder of Sarah Everard last year in March, the data shows that 109 women have been murdered where men were the main suspect, representing more than 2 women per week. This is out of 414 murder victims overall, equalling 26% of all murder cases.

Our Women and Equalities Spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse MP has slammed the Government for turning a blind eye to anti-women hatred and refusing to take violence against women and girls seriously.

Liberal Democrats have accused the Government of ‘turning a blind-eye’ to violence against women and girls, choosing to bury their head in the sand.

Wera said:

These figures lay are nothing short of a national scandal showing the epidemic of violence against women, perpretated by men.

It is shameful that the Conservative’s have turned a blind-eye to anti-women hatred and showing a disgraceful lack of understanding of the issue. Make no mistake – these murders are a result of misogyny and sexist attitudes throughout the UK.

We need a dramatic culture change with bold changes led by the Government. We must send a clear message by making misogyny a hate crime. If the Conservatives do not act fast to tackle the root cause of this violence, more women and girls will suffer at the hands of men.

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  • Peter Watson 29th Mar '22 - 12:50pm

    Whilst I appreciate the sentiment – any murder is a tragedy and I want all women and girls to feel safe – I find the use of data in this article confusing and would welcome a link to the source so I can better understand it.
    On the face of it, 26% seems fairly consistent with no bias: women killing men/women, men killing women/men (an obvious caveat is that without the source data, I’ve no idea what the other 74% is based upon, e.g children and transgender people might be counted separately or it might include unknown suspects, which could all make 26% disproportionately large).
    Also, in the numbers presented, 26% since March 2021, compared to 28% since 2016, seems like an improvement.
    Though “improvement” begs the question (which feels a ridiculous one to ask), if 28% or 26% is a “national scandal”, what percentage of murders being women killed by men would be acceptable?
    I certainly don’t want to add my voice to the “most murder victims are men” comments that often appear in this sort of discussion; my concern is that statistics and data should inform a debate, and in this case I am not convinced that they do.

  • Brad Barrows 29th Mar '22 - 10:17pm

    @Peter Watson
    You make good points. My concern is that the statistics being quoted do not, in themselves, prove that sexist attitudes or misogyny lies at the root of the killings of most women – an alternative interpretation is that most cases of males killing females as well as of most females killing males, the victims are either partners or ex-partners, and since males have a higher propensity to kill than females, it is not surprising that more males kill females than females kill males.

  • Andrew Tampion 30th Mar '22 - 7:07am

    I agree with Peter Watson. It is difficult to comment on this, other, than to condemn misogyny and murder, without sight of the report. So a link would be useful.

  • I agree with previous commenters.

    I cannot find this report on the website of the House of Commons Library, but it has been “shared exclusively” with The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/women-victims-murder-cases-b2045654.html

    This states that “Research by the House of Commons library, shared exclusively with The Independent, discovered women are the victims while men are the primary suspect in 28 per cent of all murder cases since 2016” and “the percentage of cases where men were killed by men is 64 per cent”. Therefore, if there is an epidemic of violence by men against women, there is a worse epidemic of violence by men against men.

    Every murder is one too many. However, the published statistics give no indication of the motivation for the murder, and therefore do not support the assertion “Make no mistake – these murders are a result of misogyny and sexist attitudes throughout the UK” – especially as this claim appears to apply to all murders of women by men.

    I would support the addition of misogyny as an aggravating factor in murder and violence – provided that an appropriate legal definition can be developed. However, most violence against women by men is domestic, and this would be difficult to prove in these cases.

  • It makes sense for sex to be added as a protected characteristic for hate crime. However, this is the wrong justification.

    The Home Office removed it, citing that it would actually make prosecutions more difficult. At the time this didn’t make sense to me, but this claim shows them to be correct.

    If the assumption VH makes is correct men only murder women due to hatred for women in general, as a result to find the intent element of murder by placing this in law you are adding an avenue of defence.

    Some men who kill women are buglers who broke in to a house and encountered an elderly couple, the couple resist, the burglar fights them, intends serious harm and they die. In applying the VH theory above the burglar could be tried for murder as there is no assumption he must hate all men, but for killing the woman it would be hard to show he hated all women to establish intent.

    There is no need to start adding this odd theory that men who kill women do so because they hate all women. People kill for all kinds of reasons, unfortunately.

    A better justification would be that if we are to have hate crime laws then all irrelevant characteristics should be protected and sex (and gender, not just gender reassignment) should be added. Just use the simple argument and don’t bring anything that creates odd complications. VH is actually making the Home Office’s case for them.

  • Helen Dudden0 30th Mar '22 - 11:10am

    I have a problem, with the lack of truth on the subject of gang rapes on both under age girls and adult women.
    No woman should have to endure that treatment, there is no excuse.

  • Well done Vera. Whilst the data might be good to understand fully the number of women women murdered by men is the tip of a nasty iceburg. It is the extreme end of violence against women and something has to be done to highlight, condem and bring to justice those who seek to exploit their physical mainly phisival sometimes translated into mental dominace over others. Whilst men also suffer from this it is predominantly women on the end of abuse. If we can do it better then fine but we should/must do something to sting this government into action and anow rather than later.

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