11 bereaved families launch Killed Women campaign to try to stop violence against women and girls

Killed Women is a campaign organisation and network for bereaved families who have lost daughters, mothers, sisters or other relatives.

Violence against women and girls remains widespread and persistent throughout society, with a woman killed by a man every three days in the UK.

These senseless deaths shatter the lives of the family and friends affected, and leave women and girls feeling unsafe in terms of their wellbeing and safety– and a new campaign is aiming to combat that. 

Eleven bereaved families have come together to launch Killed Women, a campaign organisation and network for bereaved families who have lost daughters, mothers, sisters or other relatives to male violence.

The network has a range of policy demands that they’re campaigning to change, which includes better education about domestic abuse and coercive control to improve the support and rights of the families left behind.

A statement on the organisation’s website reads: “Many of us have faced not only unimaginable loss but also huge failings from the organisations and systems that were supposed to protect, support or deliver justice – whether that be the courts, the police, social services, the media or any other institutions. We believe we have been let down by a litany of failures from public bodies and negligent inaction from successive governments.We want to make sure what has happened to us never happens to anyone else.”

The organisation adds that they want “as many family members as possible to be part of this campaign group so that our voices are listened to.

“We want to work with families of different backgrounds and experiences to make sure we have laws and policies that protect, support and ensure justice for all women. We know that racism, prejudice based on disability, financial position or immigration status, can impact the abuse, violence or organisational failures women and families suffer.”

Carole Gould and Julie Devey are two women who’ve been campaigning to change the minimum sentence for domestic homicide since 2020. 

Gould’s 17-year-old daughter Ellie was killed by another sixth-former the day after she ended their relationship in 2019, while Devey’s daughter, Poppy, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Joe Atkinson, on 14 December 2018.

Since campaigning, a government review is officially underway and looking at whether a killer outside the home will face a decade more in prison than a murder committed in the home. At present, if a killer uses a weapon found in the home the tariff is 15 years, while one who brings in a weapon will get 25 years.

“When you tell people there is this 10-year disparity in sentencing, everybody is shocked,” Gould told The Guardian. “So let’s see the change. Let’s see these perpetrators properly monitored, let’s stop releasing dangerous perpetrators back into society, let’s stop allowing them to change their names. And let’s recognise that domestic violence and domestic homicide is serious, and it should never be treated as a lesser crime to anything else.”

Killed Women is also calling for public support in the form of a GoFundMe page to power their campaigning, which at the time of writing, has amassed over £5,000.

Donations to the GoFundMe will help families “elevate their voice and build this organisation, to create a legacy of change that ensures justice and protection for women in the future”.

To find out more about the organisation visit the Killed Women website.

Image: Getty

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