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Death’s dashboard: New data base will track women slain by their partners

 The initiative will provide a far more accurate picture of the women whose lives are taken by partners.

The initiative will provide a far more accurate picture of the women whose lives are taken by partners. Photo: Getty

The number of women killed by their current or former partners is believed to have doubled compared to 2020, but official data is yet to capture the full picture.

Statistics provided by the Australian Institute of Criminology’s National Homicide Program are updated annually but cannot provide timely data on the specific number of women killed by domestic or family violence.

In response, the federal government has introduced a new dashboard that will update quarterly, allowing officials to measure, understand and, ideally, end violence against women and children.

Saturday is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and marks the beginning of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

A conference in Sydney will also take place, focusing on how to end violence against women ahead of a gathering in solidarity next Friday.

Marches and rallies against domestic violence were held in Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin on Friday.

In 2023, about 50 women have been killed by current or former partners so far, compared to 25 – or about one every two weeks – in 2020.

They include 21-year-old water polo coach Lilie James, whose body was found in a Sydney school last month.

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Lilie James’ life was stolen from her by an ex-partner at the age of just 22. Photo: Facebook

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday stressed the government’s commitment to end violence against women and children, saying there was no time to waste.

“If we are to end violence, we have to be able to measure it,” he said in an opinion piece, highlighting the new statistical dashboard.

“Accurate, verified, closer to real-time data is critical because it gives police, governments and policymakers a better chance of coming to grips with the scale and detail of the issue.”

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher said the updated register would be crucial to shaping the government’s response.

‘Whole of community response’

“One life lost to intimate partner homicide is one too many,” she said.

“This is an issue that requires a whole of community response.

“I encourage everyone to consider how they can take action to end violence against women.”

Monash University professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon says the last two months have been a devastating reminder of the consequences of violence against women.

“These deaths represent the tip of the iceberg of the range of harms and impacts of this violence,” she said.

“Everyone has a role to play in challenging the outdated attitudes and behaviours that drive violence against women.”

Prof Fitz-Gibbon suggests Australians challenge victim-blaming attitudes, call out sexist or homophobic jokes and believe victim-survivors who disclose their experiences.

-AAP

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