For Release: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Additional Contact: Julia Wyman
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Study ranks the states on the rate of women murdered by men in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October
Washington, DC — More than 1,600 women were murdered by men in 2014 and the most common weapon used was a gun, according to the new Violence Policy Center (VPC) study When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2014 Homicide Data.
This annual VPC report is being released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The study uses 2014 data, the most recent year for which information is available.
The study also ranks the states on the rate of women murdered by men. In 2014, Alaska had the highest rate, followed by Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. (A list of the 10 states with the highest rates of women murdered by men follows below.)
The study covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender, and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report.
Nationwide, 1,613 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2014, at a rate of 1.08 per 100,000. The study found that nationwide, 93 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 63 percent were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers. Thirteen times as many females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers.
The study also found that black women are disproportionately impacted by fatal domestic violence. In 2014, black females were murdered by men at a rate of 2.19 per 100,000, more than twice the rate of 0.97 per 100,000 for white women murdered by men.
Nationwide in 2014, out of the 1,613 female homicide victims, 1,116 were white, 424 were black, 44 were Asian or Pacific Islander, 14 were American Indian or Alaskan Native, and in 15 cases the race of the victim was not identified. Guns were the most common weapon used.
“Women are almost always killed by someone they know, and the majority are victims of domestic homicide. Local, state, and national policymakers must make preventing domestic violence a priority,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Guns in the hands of abusers can escalate domestic violence to homicide in the blink of an eye. Removing guns from a domestic violence situation is crucial.”
Julia Wyman, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence, states, “The facts speak for themselves, the corporate gun lobby promotes firearms as a means to personal safety. The VPC research exposes the truth that guns in a domestic abuse household are the means of abuse, not safety.”
The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 19 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 31 percent — from 1.57 per 100,000 in 1996 to 1.08 per 100,000 in 2014.
Below is the complete list of the 10 states with the highest rate of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2014:
For each of the top 10 states, the study offers a detailed summary including: the number of victims by age group and race; the most common weapons used; the victim to offender relationships; and the circumstances of the homicides.
Firearms — especially handguns — were the weapons most commonly used by males to murder females in 2014. Nationwide, for homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 54 percent of female victims were shot and killed with a gun. Of the homicides committed with guns, 69 percent were killed with handguns.
The overwhelming majority of these homicides were not related to any other felony crime, such as rape or robbery. Nationwide, for homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 83 percent of the homicides were not related to the commission of another felony. Most often, females were killed by males in the course of an argument between the victim and the offender.
The study calculates the rate of women murdered by men by dividing the total number of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents by the total female population and multiplying the result by 100,000. This is the standard and accepted method of comparing fatal levels of gun violence.
The study urges state legislators to adopt laws that enhance enforcement of federal legislation and ensure that guns are surrendered by or removed from the presence of abusers.
To view the full report, please visit http://vpc.org/studies/wmmw2016.pdf.
To see previous editions of When Men Murder Women, please click here.
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
States United to Prevent Gun Violence (www.CeasefireUSA.org) is a national non-profit organization working to support state-based gun violence prevention groups and help build new state-led organizations. States United believes that all Americans deserve to live in a country free from the fear, threat, and devastation caused by gun violence.