According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all female murder victims die at the hands of a romantic partner.
The report, released in Friday's issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that homicide is the fifth leading cause of death for women aged 18-44 — and about half of these killings were perpetrated by current or former boyfriends, husbands, or other partners.
In 29.7% of homicides related to domestic violence, an argument of some sort had occurred before the victim's death, and 12% of the homicides were associated with jealousy. About 15% of victims were pregnant at the time of death.
Minority women were also disproportionately affected — the report states that Black women were most likely to die by homicide of any kind, followed by Native American women, Hispanic women, then white women, and Asian women.
The CDC report called homicide "the most severe health outcome of violence against women," but emphasized that steps can be taken to prevent such violent assaults. For one thing, the CDC recommended better bystander and screening in doctors' offices, as well as placing limitations on firearm access for those who have domestic violence restraining orders against them.
As the report indicates, domestic violence is a severe public health issue — and it's time we start taking it more seriously.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.
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