Last year, 137 women were killed by someone they knew — each day

The St. Joseph’s Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program is urging anyone who believes they are in danger to contact them for support. . Getty Images

Home is the most dangerous place for a woman, according to a United Nations study that found the number killed by a partner or relative is rising globally.

About 50,000 women were killed worldwide last year by a current or former partner or a family member – equating to 137 per day or six per hour – found the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“While the vast majority of homicide victims are men, women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes,” said UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov in a statement.

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Despite recent high-profile campaigns such as #MeToo, in which women publicly called out sexual harassment, they are still far more likely than men to be murdered by their partner or family.

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The total number of such murders rose slightly between 2012 and 2017 – and the proportion of female homicide victims killed by partners or family rose from less than half in 2012 to nearly six in ten last year, said the report.

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Many were murdered by abusive partners, while others were victims in so-called honour killings or disputes over dowries, it added.

Murders by partners or family are often not one-off attacks, but the culmination of previous domestic abuse, said the report.

“These shocking findings demonstrate the devastating consequences of gender inequality that perpetuates violence against women,” Sarah Masters, a director at the rights group Womankind Worldwide, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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The UNODC report called for more action to combat gender-based violence including greater coordination between police, doctors and social services along with work to ensure specialised support services were available for women at risk.

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Men should also be involved in programmes to combat damaging gender norms from early childhood education onwards, it added.

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