CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A study released Tuesday ranks South Carolina fifth in the nation on the rate of women murdered by men in 2014.
Data released by the Violence Policy Center last year highlighted the state as the worst in the country for violence against women in 2013.
According to When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2014 Homicide Data, 43 females were murdered by men in South Carolina two years ago. In 2013, 57 females were murdered by men.
For the 42 homicides in which the age of the victim was reported, two victims were less than eight years old and six victims were 65 years of age or older. The average age was 44 years old.
When it comes to race, 25 were white and 18 were black.
The study found that nationwide, 93 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew and the most common weapon used (54 percent) was a gun. Among the South Carolina women who where murdered by someone they knew, 15 victims were killed with guns and 11 victims were shot and killed with handguns.
To combat the issue of domestic violence in South Carolina, Governor Haley created a task force in 2015 to conduct research on the number of cases for domestic violence along with ways to better support the help the victims are getting. The governor signed the Domestic Violence Reform Act into law on June 4, 2015, which created harsher penalties for domestic violence offenders, a gun ban -- with some offenses earning a lifetime ban -- and education for middle school students about domestic violence.
In 2014, Alaska had the highest rate, followed by Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.
The annual Violence Policy Center report comes ahead of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
The National Domestic ViolenceHotline is free, confidential, and open around the clock. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE/1-800-799-7233.
My Sister's House also operates a 24/hour hotline at 843-744-3242. United Way has a 2-1-1 crisis hotline.