The initiative also highlights other important information about the women such as their ages, locations and whether they were pregnant or had children.
...of 139 femicides in 2013, 28% (39) were ethnic minority women, but only make up 14% of the population
Although itís impossible to say with any certainty whether femicide affects racialised minority communities more than majority white communities, in some years, it does appear that the domestic femicide rates have been higher. For example, of the 139 femicides in 2013, according to our list (which we know is not exhaustive) 28% (39) were ethnic minority women but only make up 14% of the population (according to the 2011 Census). A further breakdown of the statistics reveals that 17% (24 women) were South Asian despite only being around 7% of the population. I wonder whether the spike in the femicide rate in 2013 is linked to the change in immigration rules that occurred for those on spousal visas. In 2012, the qualifying period for applying for Ďindefinite leave to remainí changed from two years to five years. Did female spouses from abroad feel not able to leave abusive relationships due to their immigration status being insecure for longer? Although the Destitute Domestic Violence Concession policy was also introduced the same year, (which would have allowed access to public funds), its awareness may have taken time to filter through. This policy has clearly been saving lives. Also, British women who were married to male spouses from abroad may have been pressured by their families to remain in abusive marriages so as not to jeopardise their immigration status.
The femicides rates were also higher in 2018 where of 154 women killed, 27 (17.5%) were ethnic minority women. More recent femicide statistics covering the Covid pandemic period need to be examined once the new Census 2021 data is released for a more accurate comparison. Although there are no clear explanations for the apparent higher femicide rates, questions do arise whether sufficient specialist support is available and funded, whether police responses are satisfactory, and whether there is sufficient awareness of the rates of domestic abuse and femicide within these communities. More robust data is also needed to ensure these groups receive sufficient attention. For example, FOI requests to the police often reveal that there is inconsistency in the way UK police forces assign ethnicity classifications.
It is not just the responsibility of mainstream services and government to prevent and eliminate abuse; influential figures and institutions in minority communities also have a role to play such as faith leaders, mosques, temples, churches as well as niche community media. In fact, violence, abuse and harassment of women and girls whether at home, at work, socially or in public including on social media is everybodyís business. Only when everyone plays their part to spot the signs, call it out, challenge it and report it, will we be able to shift the needle on the rates of rape, domestic abuse and murders Ė currently they are going in the wrong direction.
Say Her Name searchable page can be found here.
Say Her Name short film can be found here.
If you are experiencing abuse or suspect someone is, then you can contact the Muslim Women' Network Helpline on 0800 999 5786 www.mwnhelpline.co.uk
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