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When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2000 Homicide Data

Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents

United States

1,805 females were murdered by males in the United States in 2000

The homicide rate among females murdered by males in the United States was 1.34 per 100,000 in 2000


There were 154 female homicide victims (9 percent) who were less than 18 years old and 157 victims (9 percent) who were 65 years of age or older. The average age was 37 years old.


Out of 1,791 female murder victims, 16 were American Indian, 47 were Asian, 608 were black, and 1,120 were white.

Most Common Weapons

For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 52 percent of female homicide victims (879 out of 1,692) were shot and killed with guns. Of these, 76 percent (665 victims) were killed with handguns. There were 327 females killed with knives or other cutting instruments, 109 females killed by a blunt object, and 264 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 (1,551 out of 1,693) were murdered by someone they knew. There were 142 female victims killed by strangers. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent (963 victims) were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders. Among the 963 female intimates murdered, 58 percent (557 victims) were killed with guns; 74 percent of these (410 victims) were shot and killed with handguns.


For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 88 percent (1,313 out of 1,491) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 63 percent (829 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 � 2002 Violence Policy Center