Louisiana Ranks Second Among Deadliest States for Women
For Immediate Release: September 21, 2016
Baton Rouge, LA – The Washington D.C. based Violence Policy Center has issued its yearly report on female murder victims, and it paints a grim picture for Louisiana. The report, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data, reviews female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents and ranks all states from highest rates to lowest. The 2016 report, which analyzed homicides committed in 2014, was released yesterday. Louisiana ranks 2nd in the nation, up from 4th the year before.
The report does not count multiple death incidents or incidents where the perpetrator and victim are the same gender. The report reveals that nationwide more than 1,600 women were murdered by men in 2014, and the most common weapon used was a gun. 93% of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew.
The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 19 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 31% — from 1.57 per 100,000 in 1996 to 1.08 per 100,000 in 2014.
However, a review of the report reveals that Louisiana has failed to make the progress seen in the rest of the nation. The rate in Louisiana remains 2.15 per 100,000, double the national average, and 37% higher than the national average was 19 years ago when the reporting began. The full report can be seen at www.vpc.org.
Despite the somber report, advocates are optimistic that recent legislative changes will improve these statistics in future years. In August of 2014, new laws went into effect in Louisiana that restricted firearm access for domestic abusers. “Unfortunately these new laws were not in effect for the first seven months of 2014,” said Beth Meeks, executive director of Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “We know that with proper implementation, these laws will have an impact on our homicide rate in Louisiana.”
Meeks says there are a number of complicated factors that contribute to the problem in Louisiana, including a lack of services for victims. “We have a significant lack of safety resources for domestic violence survivors in Louisiana. We have large areas with little or no advocacy services and too few shelter beds. Programs are doing the best they can, but without additional funding there just aren’t enough services for persons seeking immediate safety.”
The release of this report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is held throughout the nation in October. Domestic Violence Programs throughout the state are commemorating this month with a wide variety of activities including Take Back the Night marches, candlelight vigils and luncheons. For additional information on domestic violence, or for a list of Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities in your area visit www.lcadv.org.
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The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is a statewide network of battered women’s programs, other organizations and individuals who share the goal of ending violence against women and children in Louisiana. LCADV empowers its members through advocacy, education, resource development and technical assistance.