This is just heartbreaking! One hundred and thirty-nine women were killed by men in 2017, with two in five of the cases involving excessive violence, a report has revealed.

The latest Femicide Census, drawn up by charity Women’s Aid and campaigner Karen Ingala Smith, suggested 58 of the deaths featured ‘overkilling’ – where more violence is used than is necessary to kill the victim.

The report’s authors looked at 139 deaths of women and girls aged 14 and over at the hands of men in 2017, including 21 victims of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.

They claim that ‘in our society, men’s violence against women and girls is not only routine, but tolerated and normalised’.

And they are calling for funding promises from the Government to stop specialist support services closing down.

There were 113 such deaths in 2016, 119 in 2015, and 139 in 2014.

Of the victims last year, 64 women (46 per cent) were killed by their current or former partner – when the terrorist attacks were excluded, the proportion rose to 54.2 per cent.

Thirty (21.6 per cent) were killed by a stranger, including 21 women killed in terror attacks; 24 died at the hands of a man outside their family but known to them, such as a friend, colleague or neighbour; 10 women (7.2 per cent) were killed by their sons, and seven women (4.9 per cent) were killed by another male family member.

Most victims were aged between 26 and 55 – 82 women, 59 per cent of the total – and the majority were killed either at their home or the perpetrator’s.

Of those who were killed by their ex-partner, 12 (55 per cent) died within the first month of separation, and 19 (87 per cent) within the first year.

Nearly three-quarters of the 126 killers (90) were aged between 26 and 55, and most of the killings involved a sharp instrument (66).

The Femicide Census collected data on ‘overkilling’ for the first time and found it was evident in 42 per cent of the cases in 2017.

A victim was stabbed 175 times in one case, according to the Guardian.

In others, women were ‘hit 40 times with an axe’, ‘bludgeoned repeatedly’ and ‘battered virtually beyond all recognition’.

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