Josh Sugarmann and the Violence Policy Center have released their annual report, which used data from 2012, the most recent year for which information is available. Ninety-three percent of women murdered by men know their killers, and most are their intimate parners. The most common weapon used by men to murder women is, as in previous years, a gun—and the most commonly used kind of firearm is a handgun. The vast majority of these homicides were unrelated to any other felony crime, including rape or robbery, and most often, the killings occurred in the middle of an argument between the victim and the offender.
“The National Rifle Association and its financial backers in the gun industry often raise the specter of an unknown assailant in order to encourage women to buy guns. However, our report makes clear that the vast majority of female victims are not murdered by strangers in a dark alley. In reality, having a gun can actually increase a woman’s chance of being killed. One study found that women living with a gun in the home were nearly three times more likely to be murdered than those with no gun in a home,” Sugarmann says.
“In short, the evidence shows that women murdered by men are nearly always killed by someone they know, most often by an intimate partner, and the most common weapon used is a gun. Reducing gun violence against women goes hand in hand with reducing domestic violence.”