When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2008 Homicide Data

Publication Date: September 2010

Publisher: Violence Policy Center


Research Area: Human rights; Justice; Population and demographics

Keywords: female population ; high-income countries; firearms; homicides

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This reports shows that firearms are the most common weapon used by men to murder women. Guns are used in 50 percent of all such homicides, and more than three-fourths of the firearms are handguns.

“When Men Murder Women” gathered data from the 1,817 instances when one male murdered one female in 2003, the most recent year for which information is available. Its findings conclude, in part, that more than 90 percent of victims were murdered by someone they knew, and of the women killed by someone they knew, 62 percent were wives or intimate partners of their killers.

The report also found that although the United States represents only 32 percent of the female population of 25 high-income countries, it accounts for 84 percent of all female firearm homicides. Women face the greatest threat from someone they know, most often a spouse or intimate acquaintance, who is armed with a gun.