We’ve the annual complaint that women are being killed in droves by men – killed by their partners and isn’t this a gross indictment of a patriarchal society and no doubt it’s capitalism to blame. And the reality here is that men are more likely to be killed by a friend or partner than women are. So, perhaps the dolour should be to the other side? Or even that indictment of capitalism and patriarchy?
And the thing is, even though we’re never told this, this is in fact true too. Men are more likely to be murdered in the first place and so also more likely to be killed off by a friend or partner – by a killer known to them rather than some murder murder thing a la Whoopi Goldberg.
Three-quarters of women killed by men in the UK in 2017 knew the perpetrator, according to a report on femicide. The Femicide Census, conducted by Women’s Aid and the campaigner Karen Ingala Smith, found that of the 139 women known to have been killed by men in the UK last year, 105 (76%) knew their killer. Thirty women were killed by strangers, with 21 of the 30 killed in terrorist attacks. The report found that 64 of the women, or 46%, were killed by a current or former intimate partner. Another 24 (17%) were killed by a man known to them – such as a colleague, neighbour or friend – while 17 (12%) were killed by a male family member, of whom 10 were killed by their son. The perpetrator’s relationship to the victim could not be established in four cases.
And here’s where the actual statistics reside:
The Home Office Homicide Index showed there were 518 homicides (murder, manslaughter and infanticide) in the year ending March 2015 in England and Wales.
There were differences between males and females in the pattern of relationships between victims and suspects. Women were far more likely than men to be killed by partners/ex-partners (44% of female victims compared with 6% of male victims), and men were more likely than women to be killed by friends/ acquaintances (32% of male victims compared with 8% of female victims).
In the year ending March 2015, just under two-thirds of homicide victims were male (64%, 331 victims) and one-third were female (36%, 186 victims).
518 dead, 64% male, gives us 331 male victims, 186 (ignore rounding) women. 44% of women by partners, 82 incidences, only 20 for men. But friends, 106 for men, 15 for women. Leading to 126 male victims or partners or friends and 97 female.
Given roughly equal male/female split in the population therefore men are more likely to be killed by a friend or partner than women are.
Odd we don’t get told this more often, isn’t it?