The number of domestic violence deaths in the UK hits a shocking 14-year high

With new stats revealing the number of women killed by a partner or ex has risen by a third, charities are calling for Government action on guaranteeing safe places for women fleeing domestic abuse

Between March 2018 to 2019, as many as 80 women lost their lives to acts of violence committed by a current or former partner, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a shocking increase of 27% from the previous year.

Sarah Green, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, stated: ‘This rise in domestic violence murders is extremely worrying. We need an urgent, detailed examination of every case and what failings they have in common.’

Speaking of the rampant need for reform to better protect domestic violence victims, Alex Mayes, external affairs manager at the charity Victim Support, referred to the new figures as ‘deeply disturbing’, and commented: ‘Working with the families bereaved by murder and manslaughter, we know that the impact these crimes is devastating to both families and communities.’

He added: ‘These statistics highlight the fatal impact of domestic abuse, and show how much more needs to be done to tackle abuse and keep victims safe.’

In light of the new findings, homeless charity Crisis is calling for the government to guarantee a safe home for anyone fleeing domestic violence in the domestic abuse bill, which is currently being drafted.

Hannah Gousy, head of policy and external affairs at Crisis, said: ‘These figures are a devastating reminder of why it’s so important for women experiencing domestic violence to have somewhere safe to escape to, and how our continued failure to act is having fatal consequences.

‘We know that leaving an abuser can be one of the most dangerous times, but currently we’re leaving women with no option but to return to the very place and person they were trying to flee from, because they have nowhere else to go.’

She concluded: ‘This is truly shameful; we can and must do better than this.’

If you have been personally affected by domestic violence or know someone who has, you can contact the Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit womensaid.org.uk

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