When a Man Kills a Woman


A new report from a Washington, DC, non-profit group called the Violence Policy Centre offers fascinating insight into the extent of domestic violence in the US. Entitled “When Men Murder Women,” the report breaks down 2008 FBI data on cases where females were murdered by males in 1-on-1 incidents, i.e., those involving 1 victim and 1 offender.

By the Numbers: Male Murders of Females

Here are some of the key numbers from the report:

  1,817: The number of females murdered by males in 1-on-1 incidents in 2008;

  1,694: The number of cases where the nature of the relationship between victim and offender could be determined;

 1,564: Of the 1,694 cases above, the number of victims murdered by a person they knew (92%);

 12:  A woman was 12 times more likely to be murdered by someone she knew than a stranger (1,564 v. 130);

 997: The number of murdered females who were wives or intimate acquaintances of their male killers (64%);

 278: The number of females shot and killed by a husband or lover during an argument;

 52: The percentage of female homicides committed with firearms (followed by knives and cutting instruments: 21%; bodily force: 15%; and blunt objects: 7%); and

 86: The percentage of female murders that were not related to the commission of a rape, robbery or other felony.

Male Violence against Women in Canada

Data documenting male murders of females in Canada is older and less extensive. Here are some statistics from a Fact Sheet issued by the Canadian Women’s Foundation:

 51: The percentage of Canadian women who have experienced at least 1incident of physical or sexual violence since age 16;

 1 to 2: The number of women murdered by a current or former partner each week in Canada;

 3: Women are 3 times more likely than men to be physically injured by spousal violence; and

 360,000: The number of children exposed to domestic violence in Canada each year.

Spousal violence made up the single largest category of convictions involving violent offences in non-specialized adult courts in Canada from 1997 to 2002. Not surprisingly, over 90% of offenders in these cases were male.

And these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. According to Statistics Canada, in 2004, only 36% of female victims of spousal violence reported these crimes to the police. In that same year, fewer than 10% of sexual assault victims reported to the police.

Ugly, ugly stuff. . .