Georgia is tied for seventh in the nation in the rate of men killing women, with most of those deaths involving guns and people who knew each other, says a study reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Men killed 90 women in Georgia in 2004, resulting in a homicide rate of 2.02 per 100,000. Alaska ranks first with nine homicides and a 2.83 percent homicide rate, followed by New Mexico and Wyoming, which were tied for second. Louisiana came in third followed by Nevada and then South Carolina. Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker called Georgia’s ranking “absolutely appalling.” “Many of those deaths are domestic violence related,” Baker said. “We have to find ways to lower that number. I don’t want to be on anybody’s chart when we talk about that statistic.”
The Violence Policy Center, a Washington-based gun control group, produced the rankings based on 2004 statistics submitted to the FBI, the most recent data available. Georgia has ranked in the top 10 for four of the center’s last seven years of reports. A separate report from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence studied 54 domestic violence-related homicides in the state from 2004 to 2006 and concluded that most of them involved firearms. The report offers recommendations for police, prosecutors, judges, employers, and families, including encouraging police to pursue warrants when they determine there is probable cause for an arrest instead of directing domestic violence victims to seek warrants on their own.