For Immediate Release
Violence Policy Center Releases Annual Report on Women Murdered by Men for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October
WASHINGTON - More than 1,700 women were murdered by men in 2011 and the most common type of weapon used was a firearm, according to the new Violence Policy Center (VPC) report When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data.
This annual report is released to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. It is the only published source of comprehensive data on females murdered by males.
The study covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender, and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report. This year’s report applies to 2011, the most recent year for which data is available.
Nationwide, 1,707 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2011, at a rate of 1.17 per 100,000. For homicides nationwide in which the weapon could be determined, more female homicides were committed with firearms (51 percent) than any other weapon.
Of the homicides committed with firearms, 73 percent nationwide were committed with handguns. In 87 percent of all incidents where the circumstances could be determined, the homicides were not related to the commission of any other felony, such as rape or robbery.
For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 94 percent of female victims were murdered by a male they knew. Nationwide, sixteen times as many females were murdered by a male they knew (1,509 victims) than were killed by male strangers (92 victims). Among victims who knew their offenders, 61 percent of female homicide victims were wives or intimate acquaintances of their killers.
The study also ranks each state based on the homicide rate for females murdered by males. In 2011, South Carolina led the nation with a rate of 2.54 per 100,000.
“The sad reality is that women are nearly always murdered by someone they know,” said VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Already, many elected officials and community leaders are working tirelessly to reduce the toll of domestic violence. Yet despite these efforts, the numbers remain unacceptably high. We need new policies in place from local communities to the federal government to protect women from harm.”
“Nine women each week are shot to death by their husband or intimate partner,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “That's nearly 500 domestic gun violence deaths each year — more than twice the number of servicewomen killed in military conflicts since the Korean War. We urgently need better policies that protect women and their families from this senseless violence. No American, adult or child, should live in a perpetual state of fear. It’s inhumane.”
The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt educational organization working for a safer America through research, investigation, analysis, and advocacy. The VPC provides information to policymakers, journalists, organizations, advocates, and the general public.