This Artist Is Painting Portraits Of 118 Women Killed By Men In A Year

Henny Beaumont wants to show others these are "real people who lost their lives” in her project, 'Disappearing Women'.
Portraits of Louise Smith, Denise Keane-Barnett-Simmons and Shadika Mohsin Patel. 
Portraits of Louise Smith, Denise Keane-Barnett-Simmons and Shadika Mohsin Patel. 

When Jess Phillips read out a list of 118 women killed by men in the past year in the House of Commons, artist Henny Beaumont only recognised one name: Sarah Everard.

Like women across the country, Beaumont felt deeply moved by Everard’s story, but was “shocked and saddened” to realise there were many victims she didn’t know on the list, which was read out during the International Women’s Day debate in March.

Beaumont then listened to Mina Smallman talk about how little public outrage there had been over the murders of her two Black daughters – Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46 – in June 2020.

“I decided to do what I could to try and redress this imbalance,” Beaumont tells HuffPost UK, “to remember and honour the memory of all these murdered women.”

Beaumont committed to painting a portrait of each of the women on the list read out by Phillips. She hopes her project, Disappearing Women, will “put faces to the names, to show others these are real people who lost their lives”.

Hyacinth Morris died in May 2020 after being attacked by her son. 
Hyacinth Morris died in May 2020 after being attacked by her son. 

The project hasn’t been easy. “Obviously it’s very upsetting thinking about the sudden and violent loss of these women, but I keep in mind it’s nothing compared to what their families have experienced,” Beaumont says of the experience.

“It feels very positive to do something for the families, to show them that their loved ones are still remembered and cared about.”

Maryam Ismail was killed by her husband in April 2020.
Maryam Ismail was killed by her husband in April 2020.

Beaumont has painted 26 of the 118 women so far. Learning about their stories, she’s been struck by how often a women is was killed by someone she knew, or was in a relationship with.

She creates the portraits using images of the women found online. Where there’s no image, she paints flowers and the name of the woman. She’s also been contacted by a number of the families, thanking her for remembering their lost loved one or offering an image for her to paint.

Gerald Winter, the brother of murdered Tracey Kidd, who died in March 2020, told her: “Thank you for doing this, not just for my sister, but for all the poor women that go through domestic violence.”

Tracey Kidd died in March 2020. Paul Vissers, a 40-year-old man, was charged with her murder. 
Tracey Kidd died in March 2020. Paul Vissers, a 40-year-old man, was charged with her murder. 

“I’ve been very moved by the responses I’ve had from the families who’ve contacted me and the support for this project on social media, it’s been very heartwarming,” says Beaumont.

“There are a lot of people who care hugely about this issue.”

Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and her daughters Ava, four, and Lexi, two, died in April 2020. It is understood their father Robert Needham, 42, shot them dead before turning a gun on himself.
Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and her daughters Ava, four, and Lexi, two, died in April 2020. It is understood their father Robert Needham, 42, shot them dead before turning a gun on himself.

Beaumont is releasing the portraits on Instagram and Twitter five days a week.

She’s also working with the Femicide Census and Centre for Women’s Justice, to create an ongoing and permanent memorial to the women lost to male violence, which will continue beyond the 118 women killed this year. Beaumont is raising funds to support the work of the two groups here.

If you’ve been impacted by domestic violence, you’ll find a list of helplines at the bottom of this article.

Useful helplines for domestic violence:

If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are not in immediate danger, you can contact:

  • The Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge: 0808 2000 247
  • In Scotland, contact Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234
  • In Northern Ireland, contact the 24 hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414
  • In Wales, contact the 24 hour Life Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
  • National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
  • Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
  • Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321