A total of 173 people were killed as a result of domestic violence in the UK last year, the highest level for five years.
There were 141 such deaths in 2017, 139 in 2016, 160 in 2015 and 165 in 2014, according to data supplied to the BBC by 43 police forces in the UK. Most victims are women and the suspects are predominantly male.
The rise in numbers come despite government efforts to tackle domestic violence, such as introduction of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law), in recent years.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he plans to reintroduce his predecessor Theresa May’s domestic abuse legislation in the new session of Parliament. But some domestic abuse campaigners argue the government has focused too much on the criminal justice system at a time when police resources have been cut and there are fewer refuge beds available.
“If women trying to escape can’t get into refuges, it doesn’t matter how cracking the laws are we’ve made in Westminster. They do not help people on the ground,” MP Jess Phillips said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.