• Black women murdered by men at a rate more than two and a half times higher than white women, study finds

    October 3, 2013

    Black women are most often killed by a gun and almost always by someone they know


    refuge460Washington, DC —
    Black women face a disproportionate
    share of fatal domestic
    violence in America,
    according to the new Violence
    Policy Center (VPC)
    report “When Men Murder
    Women: An Analysis of 2011
    Homicide Data.” In 2011,
    492 black females were murdered
    by males at a rate of
    2.61 per 100,000, compared
    to a rate of 0.99 per 100,000
    for white females.
    The annual report is released
    to coincide with Domestic
    Violence Awareness
    Month in October. The study
    covers homicides involving
    one female murder victim
    and one male offender, and
    uses data from the Federal
    Bureau of Investigation’s
    unpublished Supplementary
    Homicide Report. This year’s
    report applies to 2011, the
    most recent year for which
    data is available.
    Here are some of the report’s
    findings related to
    black females murdered by

    • Where the relationship
    could be determined, 94 percent
    of black females killed
    by males knew their killers.
    Nearly 15 times as many
    black females were murdered
    by a male they knew than
    were killed by male strangers.
    • Of the black victims
    who knew their offenders,
    52 percent were wives, common-
    law wives, ex-wives, or
    girlfriends of the offenders.
    Ninety-three percent of the
    homicides were intra-racial.
    • Firearms, especially
    handguns, were the most
    common weapons used by
    males to murder black females.
    When the murder
    weapon could be identified,
    51 percent of black female
    victims were shot and killed
    with guns. Within that group,
    82 percent were killed with a
    • In homicides where the
    age of victims was reported,
    12 percent of black female
    victims were less than 18
    years old (55 victims), and
    five percent were 65 years of
    age or older (22 victims).
    • 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,
    87 percent were not related
    to the commission of any
    other felony.
    “Nine women each week
    are shot to death by their
    husband or intimate partner,”
    said Shannon Watts,
    founder of Moms Demand
    Action for Gun Sense in
    America. “That’s nearly 500
    domestic gun violence deaths
    each year — more than twice
    the number of servicewomen
    killed in military conflicts
    since the Korean War. We
    urgently need better policies
    that protect women and their
    families from this senseless
    violence. No American, adult
    or child, should live in a perpetual
    state of fear. It’s inhumane.”
    Nationwide, a total of
    1,707 females were murdered
    by males in single victim/
    single offender incidents
    in 2011, at a rate of 1.17 per
    The study also ranks each
    state based on the homicide
    rate for females murdered by
    males. In 2011, South Carolina
    led the nation with a rate
    of 2.54 per 100,000.

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