WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) — Tennessee ranks fifth in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men, with a rate of 2.01 per 100,000, according to the new Violence Policy Center study.
The study uses 2017 data, the most recent year for which information is available. 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.
The study found that nationwide 92% of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew and that the most common weapon used was a gun.
“Women are most likely to be murdered with a gun wielded not by a stranger but by someone they know,” VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand said. “In many instances the murderer is an intimate partner of the victim. It is important to know these facts in order to identify effective strategies to prevent homicides against women.”
Tennessee tied with South Carolina. This is the 10th year in a row that Tennessee has ranked in the top 10 states for the rate of women murdered by men.
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.
From 1996 to 2017, the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents dropped from 1.57 per 100,000 women in 1996 to 1.29 per 100,000 women in 2017, a decrease of 18%. Since reaching its low of 1.08 in 2014, the rate has increased in each of the last three years, with 2017’s rate of 1.29 up 19% since 2014.
“We are appalled at the rates at which women continue to be shot and killed by men,” Karen Abrams, interim executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence said. “But, when it comes to gun violence against women we have policy tools that work.
“Our grassroots gun violence prevention leaders know this. Which is why they push tirelessly at the state and local levels to pass and strengthen laws that keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. These are solutions that make change happen.”
Each year the VPC releases this report in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. This year, its release comes following the February 2019 expiration of the federal Violence Against Women Act. A bill to reauthorize VAWA has passed the U.S. House and is awaiting action in the Senate.
National statistics from the study include:
- Nationwide, 1,948 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2017, at a rate of 1.29 per 100,000. Of the 1,948 female homicide victims, 1,309 were white, 507 were black, 65 were Asian or Pacific Islander, 35 were American Indian or Alaskan Native, and in 32 cases the race of the victim was not identified.
- Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62% were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers. Nearly 11 times as many females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers.
- Black women are disproportionately impacted by lethal domestic violence. In 2017, black females were murdered by males at a rate of 2.55 per 100,000, more than twice the rate of 1.13 per 100,000 for white women murdered by men.
- 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, 82% 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.