Every few seconds a day, an act of violence is committed against a woman but when it comes to the violence committed against black women, the statistics are disheartening. According to a study done by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) titled When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data in 2011, 492 black females were murdered by males at a rate of 2.61 per 100,000, compared to a rate of 0.99 per 100,000 for white females. 

The numbers also show that black women are largely killed by acquaintances. 94 percent of black females killed by males knew their killers. Out of that percentage, 52 percent were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders.  Often times we rarely hear about these cases of black women being murdered by their significant others, but in the case of Marissa Alexander, which was brought to the spotlight because of an attempt to defend herself, she’s the one facing jail time.

“The sad reality is that women are nearly always murdered by someone they know,” said VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Already, many elected officials and community leaders are working tirelessly to reduce the toll of domestic violence. Yet despite these efforts, the numbers remain unacceptably high. We need new policies in place from local communities to the federal government to protect women from harm.”

“Nine women each week are shot to death by their husband or intimate partner,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “That’s nearly 500 domestic gun violence deaths each year — more than twice the number of servicewomen killed in military conflicts since the Korean War. We urgently need better policies that protect women and their families from this senseless violence. No American, adult or child, should live in a perpetual state of fear. It’s inhumane.”

But what can be done to prevent violence and murders against women, black women specifically?  Many people call for tougher gun laws, and according to the report firearms, especially handguns, were the most common weapons used by males to murder black females. When the murder weapon could be identified, 51 percent of black female victims were shot and killed with guns. Within that group, 82 percent were killed with a handgun.

The war on black women is real and there’s not sugarcoating it.  But who’s listening?

To read more of the study click here: http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2013.pdf

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