Domestic violence
Two women a week are killed on average in England and Wales as a result of domestic violenceFlickr

Nearly half of all British women killed by men, died at the hands of a partner of ex-partner - equating to roughly two domestic violence deaths a week.

According to research collected by charity Women's Aid, 46% of the 700 women who were killed by men between 2009 and 2013 were killed by someone who they had a relationship with.

A further 6% were killed by their own son, 3% by an extended family member and 3% during burglaries.

The charity has now launched a new project, the Femicide Census, which aims to record every killing of a woman by a man in the UK in a bid to raise awareness and detail male violence against women.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid, said: "We need to know what happened to these women before their deaths - for example if there were previous reports of domestic violence, if they had had previous contact with the police or other agencies, but the warning signs were not picked up on.

"We are launching the Femicide Census to identify common themes so that we can learn from them, and so that we can reduce deaths by working with all relevant agencies and professionals to better protect women."

According to the data, around two fifths of women died because a knife or blunt instrument was used against them. The second most common form of death was due to strangulation or asphyxiation (22%).

The Femicide Census was launched by Women's Aid and domestic abuse charity Nia, whose chief executive Karen Ingala Smith previously set up the Counting Dead Women blog in 2012.

Smith told Reuters: "People reel off statistics without thinking about the individuals. Through naming the women and including pictures I'm trying to make the horror of what is happening feel more real. I want it to be upsetting – this should be absolutely shocking.

"I want us to stop seeing these killings as isolated incidents and to see the connections and patterns because you cannot solve a problem unless you understand it."

Neate said the Femicide Census is also a way to remember the victims as people.

She added: "It's important to commemorate the women themselves because they are often forgotten, they are often only remembered as a statistic when their lives as individuals also mattered."