Domestic Violence Hits Black Women Harder

Kathy Chaney, Chicago Defender, October 8, 2008

According to a recently released study, the weapon most used by men to kill African American women was a gun.

The Violence Policy Center, a national non-profit organization that conducts research on violence in the United States stated in its annual report, “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2006 Homicide Data,” that 551 African American women were murdered by males that year.

Of those homicides where a murder weapon could be identified, 305 of the victims were fatally shot and most during the course of an argument.

The study stated there were 1,818 race-identified females murdered by males. And while white women accounted for the largest total of those killed—1,208—African American women were killed at a rate nearly three times higher.

In Illinois, there were 39 domestic-related homicides and 114,921 reported cases of domestic violence in 2006.

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Domestic violence is a pattern of mental, physical, emotional or sexual abuse where one partner makes the other partner feel scared, weak, isolated, hurt or sad, according to Between Friends, a Chicago-based non-profit agency that provides educational and counseling services for domestic violence victims and advocates.

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Signs of abuse include jealousy, controlling behavior, isolation, forceful sex, and physical and verbal abuse.

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[Editor’s Note: The Violence Policy Center’s report “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2006 Homicide Data” can be read or downloaded as a PDF file here.]

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