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When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 1999 Homicide Data

Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents

United States

1,750 females were murdered by males in the United States in 1999

The homicide rate among females murdered by males in the United States was 1.35 per 100,000 in 1999


There were 152 female homicide victims (9 percent) who were less than 18 years old, and 163 victims (10 percent) who were 65 years of age or older. The average age was 37 years old.


Out of 1,741 female murder victims, 16 were American Indian, 45 were Asian, 582 were black, and 1,098 were white.

Most Common Weapons

For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 53 percent of female homicide victims (865 out of 1,647) were shot and killed with guns. Of these, 76 percent (656 victims) were killed with handguns. There were 318 females killed with a knife or other cutting instrument, 108 females killed by a blunt object, and 244 females killed by bodily force.

Victim/Offender Relationship

For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 92 percent of female victims (1,521 out of 1,654) were murdered by someone they knew. There were 133 female victims killed by strangers. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 60 percent (917 victims) were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders. Among the 917 female intimates murdered, 60 percent (546 victims) were killed with guns; 74 percent of these (403 victims) were shot and killed with handguns.


For homicides in which the circumstance could be identified, 87 percent (1,270 out of 1,464) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 62 percent (789 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and offender.


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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 � 2001 Violence Policy Center