SC Ranks Second in Rate of Women Murdered by Men

Report comes on the heels of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

South Carolina is a deadly place for women.

So says a new report out by the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center, which has ranked the state second in the entire nation in the rate of women killed by men.

The state's murder rate was 1.94 per 100,000 according to the VPC report "When Men Murder Women:  An Analysis of 2010 Homicide Data".  

The annual VPC report details national and state-by-state information on female homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender.  The study uses the most recent data available from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report and is released each year to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

The 10 states with the highest rates of women murdered by men were:  

  • Nevada at 1 with a rate of 2.62 per 100,000
  • South Carolina at 2 with a rate of 1.94 per 100,000
  • Tennessee at 3 with a rate of 1.91 per 100,000
  • Louisiana at 4 with a rate of 1.86 per 100,000
  • Virginia at 5 with a rate of 1.77 per 100,000
  • Texas at 6 with a rate of 1.75 per 100,000
  • New Mexico at 7 with a rate of 1.63 per 100,000
  • Hawaii at 8 (tie) with a rate of 1.62 per 100,000
  • Arizona at 8 (tie) with a rate of 1.62 per 100,000
  • Georgia at 10 with a rate of 1.61 per 100,000.  

Nationally, the rate of women killed by men in single victim/single offender instances was 1.22 per 100,000.   

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand stated: “Women face an unacceptable risk of being victims of homicide perpetrated by people they know and love.  Much more must be done to protect women and prevent domestic violence that too often escalates to homicide.” 

Nationwide, 1,800 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2010, according to VPC. 

Where weapon use could be determined, firearms were the most common weapon used by males to murder females (849 of 1,622 homicides or 52 percent).  Of these, 70 percent (597 of 849) were committed with handguns.  

In cases where the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 94 percent of female victims (1,571 out of 1,669) were murdered by someone they knew. Of these, 65 percent (1,017 out of 1,571) were wives or intimate acquaintances of their killers.

Sixteen times as many females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers, according to VPC. In 88 percent of all incidents where the circumstances could be determined, the homicides were not related to the commission of any other felony, such as rape or robbery.  


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