Study Finds Black Women Murdered by Men Are Nearly Always Killed by Someone They Know, Most Commonly With a Gun

For Release: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Additional Contact: Julia Wyman
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
julia@ceasefireusa.org
401-644-9040

Study released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October

Washington, DC — Nine out of 10 black women murdered by men are killed by someone they know, most often with a gun, according to the new Violence Policy Center (VPC) study When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2014 Homicide Data.

The annual VPC report is being released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The study covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender, and uses 2014 data (the most recent available) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report.

The study found that in 2014, 424 black females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents, at a rate of 2.19 per 100,000. In comparison, the rate for white women murdered by males for that year was 0.97 per 100,000. Nationwide, across all races, 1,613 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2014, at a rate of 1.08 per 100,000.

Firearms, especially handguns, were the most common weapons used by males to murder black females. When the murder weapon could be identified, 57 percent of black female victims were shot and killed with guns. Within that group, 73 percent were killed with a handgun.

“Violence against women is a national crisis with a particularly devastating impact on black women.” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand.

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.”

Additional findings from the report relating to black females murdered by males include:

  • Compared to a black male, a black female is far more likely to be killed by her spouse, an intimate acquaintance, or a family member than by a stranger. Where the relationship could be determined, 91 percent of black females killed by males in single victim/single offender incidents knew their killers. Of the black victims who knew their offenders, 57 percent were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders. More than 10 times as many black females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers.
  • The vast majority of homicides of black females murdered by males were not related to any other felony crime. Most often, black females were killed by males in the course of an argument. In cases where the circumstances could be identified, 84 percent were not related to the commission of any other felony.

The study also ranks each state based on the homicide rate for women across all races murdered by men. Below are the 10 states with the highest rate of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2014:

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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. The rate of black women murdered by men is calculated by dividing the total number of black females murdered by males by the total black female population and multiplying the result by 100,000. This is the standard and accepted method of comparing fatal levels of gun violence.

To view the full report, please visit http://www.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 TwitterFacebook, 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.

Media Contact:
Felicia Feingersch
(202) 822-8200 x104
ffeingersch@vpc.org