A new report ranks South Carolina as the fifth-worst rate in the country for women murdered by men.
The Violence Policy Center releases the report each year to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. It found South Carolina had a rate of 1.83 per 100,000 women in 2015, which is a fraction higher than 1.73 a year earlier. South Carolina also ranked fifth in last year’s report.
VPC released the report in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. It calculates each state’s rate based on the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report.
South Carolina has consistently ranked among the highest rates in the country. In 2013, the state had the nation’s highest rate of women killed by men. That status helped spur legislation in 2015 which tried to toughen penalties and restrictions on those charged with and convicted of domestic violence charges. South Carolina’s rate dropped 35 percent since that worst-in-the-nation status.
The study found nearly that 93 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew. Only 4 women documented in the report were killed by apparent strangers. Among those who knew their killer, nearly three-quarters were murdered by a current or former spouse/boyfriend.
In all, more than half (55 percent) were killed with a gun. Nearly half of the victims were African-American (48 percent) despite black residents only accounting for 28 percent of the 2010 Census in South Carolina.
The national rate was 1.12, according to the report. Alaska had the highest rate among states at 2.86 per 100,000, followed by Nevada, Louisiana and Tennessee. The state reporting the lowest rate was New Hampshire at 0.30. Florida and Alabama were not part of the rankings, since those states do not track domestic violence cases the same way.