Home is a dangerous place for women, according to a new report from the United Nations. While men are more likely to be victims of homicide–accounting for 8 out of 10 murders in 2017–mostly at the hands of strangers, women are at the greatest risk of being killed by someone they know and maybe love.
More than half of all female homicide victims worldwide–137 every day–were killed by a member of their own family last year, according to a new report on gender-related killings from the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), released in conjunction with the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. That translates to six women killed every hour by someone they know.
More than a third (30,000) of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by someone they should have been able to trust–a current or former partner or spouse. What’s more, writes the report, women are far more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men; women made up roughly 82% of the victims in homicide cases where an intimate partner was implicated.
If that’s not depressing enough, it appears that intimate partner/family-related homicides are on the rise. A total of 50,000 women were intentionally killed by loved ones in 2017 (58% of all murder victims), while back in 2012 it was 48,000 (47% of all female homicide victims).
In the face of these startling, horrifying numbers the UN is sponsoring 16 days of activism aimed at eliminating violence against women. The organization also called for a series of measures to combat the global problem–including coordination between police, the criminal justice system, health and social services, involving men more in addressing the problem, and, of course, listening to survivors.
Editor’s note: We have changed the headline on this story to better reflect the language used in the original report.