Louisiana Female Homicide Rate Remains Higher Than Average

Louisiana’s Female Homicide Rate Inches Downward,
Remains Higher Than Average

For Immediate Release: September 24, 2020

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men has decreased slightly over the past year, according to a recent national report. The Washington, D.C. based Violence Policy Center released its annual report on female murder victims, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data, this week. The report reviews female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents and ranks all states from highest rates to lowest. The 2020 report, which analyzes homicides committed in 2018, ranks Louisiana 5th in the nation. The report also reveals that Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men remains 77% higher than the national average, at 2.26 homicides per 100,000 females.

Louisiana has led the nation in female homicide rates for some time, with the rate increasing steadily for the six years prior to this report. Mariah Wineski, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is hopeful this will be the beginning of a long-term downward trend. “We are encouraged to see this small decrease in our homicide rate, but 5th in the nation is certainly still no place we want to be.”

This is the 23rd year that the Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women. A review of the report reveals that women of color were disproportionately victimized, with black women representing 34 (63%) of the 54 female homicide victims identified in 2018. Sixty-seven percent of the victims in Louisiana were killed with firearms. The report does not count multiple death incidents or incidents where the perpetrator and victim are of the same sex.

The release of the Violence Policy Center report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which takes place each year in October. This year, advocates have a small glimmer of hope that years of policy changes and efforts to improve coordinated responses to violence will begin to pay off.   “We have worked tirelessly for years to improve our state’s systemic responses to domestic abuse, and we are hopeful that they are beginning to make an impact,” Wineski said. Though advocates are encouraged by this reduction, the statistics remain grim from Louisiana women. “At the end of the day, this is not a numbers game,” Wineski said. “Each of these homicides is a human being whose life was cut short by violence. Until our female homicide rate decreases to zero, we clearly still have work to do.”

See full press release: VPC 2020 Press Release

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