In 2017, Dawn Wilcox founded Women Count USA, a national database and femicide census of all women and girls murdered by men in the United States. The numbers are shocking. When I spoke to Dawn in July, she’d counted 805 women killed by men since January 2018. As of today, the number has reached 1037.
Too often, when men kill women, we hear that “it was an isolated incident” or that a man “snapped,” when, in reality, these murders are more often connected to ongoing abuse and are premeditated.
A domestic violence and sexual assault survivor herself, Dawn now teaches other women how to identify and challenge the misogynistic and victim-blaming narratives we see in reporting on violence against women, and does the very hard and time-consuming work of tracking femicide in the US in her spare time, on top of her job as a registered nurse.
I spoke with her over the phone about her work and what she’s learned through tracking these murders from her home in Texas.