When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 1998 Homicide Data
Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents
Conclusion: Guns and Domestic ViolenceA Deadly Mix
The best efforts of the firearms industry and
its supporters to portray gun ownership as a guarantor of personal safety
cannot conceal the deadly reality. A 1997 Archives of Internal Medicine
study that examined the risk factors of violent death for women
in the home in three United States counties found that when there were
one or more guns in the home, the risk of homicide increased more than
three times.1 The increased risk of homicide associated with firearms
was attributable to homicides at the hands of a spouse, intimate acquaintance,
or close relative.
Often a gun in the home is a key factor in the
escalation of nonfatal spousal abuse to homicide. In a study of family
and intimate assaults for the city of Atlanta, firearm-associated family
and intimate assaults were 12 times more likely to result in death than
non-firearm associated assaults between family and intimates.2
The picture that emerges from When Men Murder Women is strikingly different from the fear-mongering fictions promoted by the gun lobby and its industry partners. The data suggest that women do not face the greatest threat of murder from knife-wielding strangers intent on rape or robbery, but from someone they know, most often a spouse or intimate acquaintance, who is armed with a gun. For women in America, guns are not used to save lives, but to take them.
The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.
All contents � 2000 Violence Policy Center