When a person enters a new relationship, he or she is optimistic, excited, and head-over-heels. The last thing a person thinks about is fighting with their new partner. A person never considers the possibility of death when engaged in a relationship with a new loved one.
Unfortunately, that is the case for many American women. According to the Atlantic, “Over half of the killings of American women are related to intimate partner violence, with the vast majority of the victims dying at the hands of a current or former romantic partner.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this information on Friday, July 21. The report found that there were over 10,000 murders of women from 2003 to 2014 in 18 states. More than half of those deaths were committed by a partner.
“Of those, 55 percent were intimate partner violence-related, meaning they occurred at the hands of a former or current partner or the partner’s family or friends. In 93 percent of those cases, the culprit was a current or former romantic partner.”
These percentages are higher than the murders of women committed by strangers. The fear of being attacked in a dark alley way by an unknown face is far less likely than being murdered by a partner. “Strangers perpetrated just 16 percent of all female homicides, fewer than acquaintances and just slightly more than parents.”
The report found that many of the murders were the result of fights between the woman and her partner. About a third of the time, the couple had argued right before the homicide took place, and about 12 percent of the deaths were associated with jealousy.” Most of the victims were young, a majority being under 40 years old.
Women who are entering relationships should not have to fear being murdered by their partner over something as trivial as jealousy. They should be able to voice their opinions in conversations with their partners without the fear of a fight breaking out and being murdered as a result.
There are ways that other people can help save the lives of these women. “To reduce domestic violence, the CDC report recommends better bystander training and screening in doctors’ offices.” If people witness the signs of domestic abuse, they need to be more than bystanders by stepping up and taking action.
In many cases of domestic abuse, the abuser adds an additional level of danger by introducing firearms into the situation. The Atlantic reports that more than half of those murders involved gun usage. Though people may not always be able to intervene in cases like this, there are things that the states can do to save women’s lives.
“The report also notes, ‘State statutes limiting access to firearms for persons under a domestic violence restraining order can serve as another preventive measure associated with reduced risk for intimate partner homicide and firearm intimate partner homicide.’ Indeed, past studies have shown that an abuser’s possession of a gun greatly increases the risk of female homicide.”
Women who have entered dangerous situations with trusted partners may not always be able to save themselves. They must be able to count on everyday bystanders to know the signs of domestic abuse, step up, and save lives.
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