The Violence Policy Center's (VPC) annual report detailing violence against women revealed that Louisiana has climbed to the fourth-highest rate of homicides committed by men against women in the U.S.
The 2014 "When Men Murder Women" report, using the most recent homicide data from FBI crime reports (2012), found that 45 women were killed by men that year, a rate of 1.92 per 100,000. The report only counts crimes with a single victim and a single offender. In its 2013 report, using 2011 data, VPC ranked Louisiana with the ninth-highest rate of women killed by men. The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV), which collects its own data that isn't limited to incidents involving single offenders and single victims, said the rate actually was much higher.
LCADV Director Beth Meeks told Gambit that she believes state gun laws likely play a role in gun violence against women. According to the VPC report, the national average for use of a gun in violence against women is 52 percent.
The report concludes, "The picture that emerges from 'When Men Murder Women' is that women face the greatest threat from someone they know, most often a spouse or intimate acquaintance who is armed with a gun. For women in America, guns are not used to save lives, but to take them."
Earlier this year, the Louisiana Legislature passed the state's largest-ever overhaul of domestic violence legislation, pushing for harsher penalties and more victim support.
To read Gambit's previous coverage of domestic violence in New Orleans and Louisiana, visit www.bestofneworleans.com/dv.