How and under what conditions might femicide be prevented?


Violence and Society Centre, City, University of London

Annual Lecture

Professor Sandra Walklate

How and under what conditions might femicide be prevented?

The term femicide, whilst contested, focuses attention on women killed at the hands of men known to them, as such has encouraged researchers and policy makers to consider the nature, extent and risks of such lethal acts of violence. Work in this area has drawn attention to the nature and extent of early deaths and reduced quality of life experienced by women as a result of their protracted exposure to violence(s) at the hands of the men in their lives. This we have called ‘slow femicide’ (Walklate et al 2020).

At the same time, following the UN call for the establishment of femicide observatories, the question of how to prevent such deaths has also risen up academic and policy agendas. The social ecological model of violence favoured by the UN has seeped into policy and practice responses with scant regard for the functionalist undertones associated with it and its subsequent inability to theorise the patriarchal social relationships, which underpin and frame the nature and extent of ‘slow femicide’.  The result is an uncritical embrace of risk producing ‘thin’ counts and thereby actions amounting to ‘thin’ prevention. However only when we think of Patriarchy will ‘thick’ counts and ‘thick’ prevention result.

Professor Sandra Walklate is President of the British Society of Criminology (BSC), Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology at the University of Liverpool (UK), Visiting Professor at the Violence and Society Centre, City, University of London, Professor of Criminology at Monash University (Australia), and adjunct professor at QUT (Brisbane, Australia). Internationally recognised for her work in victimology and research on criminal victimization, in 2014 she was awarded the BSC’s outstanding achievement award.  Towards a Global Femicide Index Counting the Costs (2020) with Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Jude McCulloch, and JaneMaree Maher is her most recent publication.

Wednesday 25th March 2020

4 p.m. in AG21, College Building

Northampton Square

A229, London EC1V 0HB


T: +44 (0)20 7040 3988