In 243 Homicides, 128 Husbands Were Found to be The Killers – Kelani Uni survey
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
The University of Kelaniya, in a survey commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed that intimate partners, ex-partners and family members perpetrated 62% of homicides, out of the sample study of 243 killings between 2013 and 2015. Further, of the 243 homicides reviewed, 128 of the cases identified the perpetrators as the husbands.
The UNFPA recently commissioned a study, which is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, to understand the contributory factors of unnatural deaths that women and girls face by analysing accidents, suicides and femicides in Sri Lanka from 2013 to 2015.
The survey was on the unnatural female deaths in five provinces in the country.
They also assessed that 69% of such incidences go unreported, which is a cause for alarm. This indicates that gender-based violence is often shrouded in silence. In light of this, the study aims to describe the problems associated with the judicial processes and outcomes relating to unnatural female deaths. It further aims to provide policy inputs and guidelines to address problems associated with the investigation and judicial processes.
The Study was commissioned and entrusted to Resident Coordinator, UN Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer Hamdy, on Tuesday (7) in the presence of Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Ministry of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control and Chairperson of the Select Committee of Parliament to ensure gender equity and equality and the Chairperson of the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus in Parliament, Rohini Kumari Wijerathna, Member of the Select Committee of Parliament to ensure gender equity and equality, and member of the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus in Parliament, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Member of the Select Committee of Parliament to ensure gender equity and equality, and member of the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus in Parliament, Prof. Nilanthi de Silva, and many others.
Speaking at the event, Officer-in-Charge, UNFPA Sri Lanka, Sharika Cooray, said, “Femicide, is the intentional sex or gender-related killings of women and girls that do not occur in isolation, it is fuelled by a culture of impunity and norms that accepts any form of violence against women and girls. These are crimes that can be controlled and prevented and are sinister in nature as they are not only harmful to the victims and survivors but also to their families and the society as a whole. We must work together to break the silence on issues pertaining to gender-based violence. We must project and create a network of awareness nationally to bring about a violence-free Sri Lanka for women and girls.”
Highlighting the methodology and findings, Prof. P. Anuruddhi S. Edirisinghe, Cadre Chair and Professor of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya said, “This book engages with the roles and influences of the medical, legal, judicial processes, the media, and the community in such deaths including possible social, cultural, gender and other norms and ideologies that may influence, delay and prevent judicial redress and media coverage. Most importantly, it also considers the ways in which some of these deaths could have been prevented.”