Partner violence is behind many female murders, report shows

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Murder is one of the top causes of death among U.S. women under age 45 but affects women of all ages. And in about half of these homicides, the victim is killed by a current or former intimate partner.

These disturbing findings come from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that looked at the deaths of more than 10,000 women ages 18 and older from 2003 to 2014. The data sheds light on trends and how to prevent deaths in the future.

Here’s a closer look at some facts from the report.

Many women are killed by romantic partners

The circumstances surrounding a death weren’t always known. But when they were, 55 percent of cases were related to intimate partner violence—and more than 90 percent of those women were killed by a current or former partner. These murders were often related to arguments or jealousy.

Homicide may be part of a pattern of violence

In about 1 in 10 deaths related to intimate partner violence, the victim experienced violence in the month before her death.

Women are rarely killed by strangers

Even when murders were not related to intimate partner violence, women still usually knew the suspect. Only around 16 percent of these cases were committed by strangers.

Women of all ages are affected, but younger women are at greater risk

Around one-third of victims were women aged 18 to 29. But homicide impacted women both young and old. Victims ranged in age from 18 to 100.

What can be done?

These numbers are tragic and deeply unsettling. But they also offer important clues for how we can keep more women safe.

One way to help prevent violence is to teach young adults about healthy relationship skills. This can show them how to manage their emotions and solve problems with communication, experts say. And that can protect more women against intimate partner violence.

You can read the full CDC report.

Learn more about the signs of domestic violence and abuse and how to get help. There is a way out.


Posted in: News, Teen Health Week

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