Commons falls silent as MP reads out list of women killed in last year

Zara Aleena, Elle Edwards and Ashley Dale are among the women killed over the last 12 months in the UK whose names were read out loud in the House of Commons.

It was International Women’s Day yesterday, and Jess Phillips marked the occasion by mentioning more than 108 dead women where a man has been convicted or charged as the primary perpetrator.

Their families watched the Birmingham Yardley MP from the public gallery as she spoke for more than five minutes.

This has become a tradition for the Labour politician since being elected in 2015.

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But campaigners warned ‘lessons are not being learned’ to deal with the violence against women and girls, telling ministers: ‘Warm words are no longer enough.’

Zara Aleena, from Ilford, east London, was one of the victims remembered in the chamber.

The aspiring lawyer was attacked and killed by a recently released offender last June while walking home from a night out with friends.

Ms Phillips said: ‘I have read hundreds of inquest reports and domestic homicide reviews over the years.

‘Everyone pushes for lessons to be learned, tells us next time it will be different. It never is.

‘This week alone I have spoken to a woman whose perpetrator turned up at her home while on bail for trying to attack her with a weapon. A call to the police left her waiting seven days for a response.

‘Femicide is currently not mentioned in the domestic abuse strategy. This is not OK.

‘I urge the government to hurry up and release the overdue sentencing review into domestic homicide.

‘There’s no reason why we are still waiting. All these women died in the time we have been promised this review.’

She added: ‘We honour these women not by reading out their names, or by doing any of the promises that happen in this place, we honour them with deeds not with words.’

Ahead of the debate, a mum whose daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend said she and her fellow bereaved will not stop demanding action.

Julie Devey, who co-founded the organisation Killed Women, said she feels power in joining together with other affected families, but questioned what she sees as a lack of action to stop the problem.

Her daughter Poppy Devey Waterhouse was brutally murdered by her ex after he failed to come to terms the end of their three-year relationship.

The group was launched in 2022 and is made up of a number of bereaved families of women killed by men.

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