CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new study released Wednesday ranks South Carolina first in the nation for the number of women killed by men.
The study, "When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data," was released by the Violence Policy Center in Washington, DC.
61 females were murdered by males in South Carolina in 2011, a total of 2.54 per 100,000. This is more than twice the national per capita rate of 1.17 per 100,000.
Four of the female homicide victims were 18 years of age or younger, and the average homicide victim age was 38 years old. Of these victims, 22 were black, and 39 were white.
For homicides in which the victim-to-offender relationship could be identified, 93% of reported homicides were committed by someone they knew. Of the homicide victims who knew their offenders, 63% were murdered by a male that was their husband, common-law-husband, ex-husband, boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend.
Of the female intimates murdered, 52% of these were killed with guns. South Carolina has been in the top 10 of women killed by men for the past 15 years, and this is the state's third time at the top spot in the nation. South Carolina was ranked second in the nation in 2010..
The announcement coincides with the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States, which is recognized in every year in October.
"For the past ten years, South Carolina has consistently been ranked in the top ten states for the number of women killed by men; this is the third time we have been ranked number one. It is our hope that this report will be a call to action for the leadership of South Carolina and its citizens to recognize the seriousness of the problem in our state and begin to work collaboratively to find real solutions that improve the safety and lives of women in our state," says Colleen Campbell Bozard, Interim Executive Director of the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
The report is based on information obtained from the most recent Supplementary Homicide Report data submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The numbers for 2011 are the most recent statistics available, and the ranking is calculated according to the homicide rate per 100,000 people in the state.