Annual targets for reducing the number of women killed by men and education to tackle misogynistic attitudes were called for on Tuesday in a new report as victims’ families called for more action to stop fatal male violence.
The report by the campaign group Killed Women also calls for “significant police and criminal justice reform” and greater efforts in other public services such as the NHS to spot and prevent potential killers before they strike.
It warns that a lack of adequate prevention has left bereaved families suffering the “brutal consequences of inaction” and points out that many male killers have “had a long record of violence and abuse” before taking a woman’s life.
It adds that in many cases, the perpetrator’s offending included abuse of the woman they later killed and calls for law enforcers and others to focus “on preventing these crimes before they happen”.
The report was released ahead of a planned protest outside Parliament by victims’ families and supporters displaying placards representing women killed by preventable male crimes.
It follows promises by the Met and other police forces to improve their approach to tackling violence against women by focusing more on predatory men.
The report says the change in “rhetoric” is welcome, but adds that action is needed to match the words.
“For centuries violence against women and girls was tolerated, seen as inevitable. It has been excused and deprioritised by successive governments, the police, the legal establishment, and society as a whole. Now we need policy to change,” it states.
Julie Devey, the mother of murder victim Poppy Devey Waterhouse, who chairs the Killed Women campaign group, added: “This report tell us what many of us knew in our hearts: the deaths and injustices our daughters, mothers, sisters, aunties and loved ones have faced are not unavoidable tragedies.
"They are the result of a litany of failures from public bodies and negligent inaction from successive governments. The heart-breaking and shocking findings .. reinforce our commitment to push for action that will save women’s lives and ensure justice for victims – and make sure no other families have to suffer like ours have.”