9 Mar 2016

Male Partners Behind a Third of all Women Murdered in America

One third of all female homicide victims in the United States are killed by their husbands and ex-husbands, boyfriends and estranged lovers. The further South couples live, the more likely women are to be victims of domestic violence, a study has revealed.

Between 2003 and 2012, 34% of all women murdered were killed by a male intimate partner, compared to the only 2.5% of male murder victims killed by a female intimate partner. Over 18,000 women were killed by male intimate partners during the same period. According to the Violence Policy Center, between 2003 and 2012, Nevada had the highest domestic homicide rate of 2.447 women killed per every 100,000. In 2012, however, Nevada’s rate dropped to 1.83, and Alaska took the top spot with 2.57 women killed per 100,000.

Five women every day are murdered with guns in America – many of these fatal shootings occur in the context of a domestic or intimate partner relationship. Since the Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, domestic violence rates have fallen 64% but an average of three women are still killed every day. The Center For American Progress observes that weak gun laws at the federal and state levels leave far too many women facing a fatal end to domestic abuse.

From 2001 through 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the United States by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of US troops killed in action during the entirety of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. Of all the women killed by intimate partners during this period, 55% were killed with guns. Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than are women in other high income countries.