The most shocking thing about men’s lethal violence against women is that it’s not shocking at all. According to the latest Femicide Census, conducted by Women’s Aid and Karen Ingala Smith, 139 women were killed by men in 2017 in the UK alone. Of these, 76% knew their killer, and 46% died at the hands of a current or former partner.
This is not front page news. It has not prompted any national crisis of conscience. There is no mass soul-searching as to why so many men hate the women closest to them that they’d like to see them dead.
Instead, life goes on. We think it is normal, or even rare (is 139 out of a population of 66 million really that much?). To call what is happening a form of terrorism is to court ridicule, at least until your average domestic abuser happens to graduate to killing strangers en masse.
We have other things to distract us: Brexit, the Royal Family, the fall of José Mourinho. Plus there’s Christmas just around the corner. Why focus on the outliers – the nice men who “lose it”, or the “sick” ones who are nothing like the rest – at a time when families and close relationships matter most of all?