Domestic Violence Accounts for Half of Women’s Killings

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An analysis of 4,484 killings of women in 47 major U.S. cities over the past decade found that 46 percent of the women died at the hands of an intimate partner, reports the Washington Post. In many cases, they were among the most brutal deaths. In five of the cities, the Post found that more than one-third of all men who killed a current or former intimate partner were publicly known to be a potential threat to their loved one ahead of the attack. In Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, San Diego and St. Louis, 36 percent of the 280 men implicated in a domestic killing had a previous restraining order against them or had been convicted of domestic abuse or a violent crime, including murder.

Nearly a quarter of the 2,051 women killed by intimate partners were stabbed, compared with fewer than 10 percent of other homicides. While a gun was used in 80 percent of all other deaths, just over half of all women killed as a result of domestic violence were attacked with a gun. Violent choking is almost entirely confined to fatal domestic attacks on women. It’s also a warning sign. Those who attempt to strangle an intimate partner are far more likely to later commit extreme acts of violence, and many in law enforcement believe it to be a strong indicator that an abusive relationship could turn fatal. The analysis is part of an effort to examine homicide in major cities and the extent to which authorities fail to solve killings. Unlike other types of homicide, domestic slayings often involve killers who leave a long trail of warning signs or signal their intent, in some cases threatening to kill their victims.

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