Domestic Violence: Behind Closed Doors

  • Last January, in her bedroom in Walthamstow, Karen Ingala Smith started making a list of victims of domestic violence.

    She has counted 199 dead women since she started. 

    Her aim is to make people understand the things that are happening behind closed doors and collectively act.

    25% of women experiene domestic violence in their lives and she wants the government to take over and officially collate the names and release them annually in order to use these cases to identify patterns in the crimes.

    Smith stated her purpose:

    "That we understand the power imbalance that leads to these murders, and that we reach out, in this cold September heat, and help other women stay alive."

    For over 10 years, two women have been killed through domestic violence in England and Wales every week, and she wanted to name them.

    She collated her findings:

    • In the first three days of January 2012, seven women were murdered by men.
    • Three were shot;
    • Two were strangled;
    • One was stabbed and
    • One was killed through 15 blunt-force trauma injuries.

    Some made it into the national media, but most were barely reported, stuck on local news sites between cat videos and a story about a library.

    "I just started counting," Karen says, "and once I'd started, I couldn't stop."

    The Guardian reported that:

    "Last month, 12 women were killed through suspected male violence in the UK."

    • Mayurathy Perinpamoorihy's age hasn't been published;
    • Danielle Roberts was 21;
    • Anu Kapoor was 27;
    • Caroline Parry was 46;
    • Judith Maude was 57;
    • Gail Lucas was 51;
    • Orina Morawiec was 21;
    • Julie Connaughton was 57;
    • Sabrina Moss 24;
    • Jane Wiggett was 57;
    • Betty Gallagher was 87 and
    • Merissa McColm was 31.

    After Merissa's body was found, her boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of murder and released on bail until the end of November.

    Men hurt women in order to exercise power over them. Cases of women being beaten, raped and killed by men are consequences of inequality.  


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