Killed by strangulation: data from Office for National Statistics year ending March 2023

In February 2024, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published homicide data from the Home Office Homicide Index in England and Wales for the year ending March. This is an analysis of data recorded by the police in England and Wales. At the Institute for Addressing Strangulation (IFAS) one of our key aims is to understand the prevalence of strangulation, both fatal and non-fatal. It is therefore important that we understand and share the findings from such analyses.


According to the report, in the year ending March 2023:

-There was a total of 590 victims of homicide.

-Strangulation was the joint second most common method of killing women (alongside hitting/kicking (without use of a weapon). The most common method of killing was the use of a sharp instrument.

-13% of female homicide victims and 4% of male homicide victims were killed by strangulation.

-The ONS data shows that more men than women were killed by sharp instruments and hitting/kicking (without use of a weapon) whereas more women than men were killed by strangulation.

-The only other category in which more women than men were killed by a particular method was ‘other’.

-In the 11 years from April 2012 to March 2023 there were 339 women (16% of female homicides) and 294 men (6% of male homicides) killed by strangulation in England and Wales.


Strangulation is a form of abuse and a method of killing that requires little other than the perpetrator’s hands. From this data and previous research (see IFAS police data report & Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) series ), it is shown that strangulation disproportionately affects females. Although these most recent ONS data do not analyse victim and perpetrator demographics in relation to strangulation specifically, previous research conducted by IFAS shows that women are predominantly strangled by males and males are predominantly strangled by others (see e.g., the previously linked IFAS reports).

The IFAS DHR series is an analysis of DHRs exploring suffocation and strangulation as methods of killing and as methods of non-fatal abuse within the histories of homicide victims and perpetrators. Through these reports, we aim to broaden the understanding of strangulation within the context of homicide, specifically domestic homicide. In addition, we aim to consider what can be done to prevent such deaths in the future. When strangulation is used non-fatally as a form of abuse, we aim to raise awareness of its risks which include a profound impact on a victim’s health and wellbeing, as well as the risk of homicide.

If you or someone you know has experienced strangulation there is information and guidance in our information leaflet for victims.


Published 12.03.24
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