BATON ROUGE, La. (KALB) - According to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Violence Policy Center has issued its annual report on female murder victims, "When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data." The report analyzed murders committed in 2015, ranking Louisiana third in the nation.
The report reveals that nationwide more than 1,680 women were killed by men in 2015, and the most common weapon used was a gun. The report also shows that black women were disproportionately victimized, with black females being murdered by males at a rate more than twice as high as white females. The report does not count multiple death incidents or incidents in which the perpetrator and victim were the same gender.
Results from previous "When Men Murder Women" reports, the rate of women murdered by men in a single victim/single offender case has dropped by 29 percent. However, a review of the report reveals that Louisiana has failed to make the progress seen in the rest of the nation. The rate in Louisiana remains double the national average and 41 percent higher than the national average 20 years ago.
Mariah Wineski, executive director of the LCADV, says one factor that contributes to Louisiana's high homicide rate is inadequate funding for victim services. "Without additional resources," she says, "there simply are not enough shelter beds to meet the needs of victims seeking immediate safety."
Another factor, Wineski says, is easy firearm access for abusers. "Although state and federal law prohibit many abusers from possessing firearms," she says, "our state lacks any consistent process for actually implementing these prohibitions." Of the women killed by men in Louisiana in 2015, 64 percent were killed with guns.
Thought they expressed frustration with the state's rankings, advocates are hopeful that change is possible. "We can't afford to continue on this path," Wineski says. "It is time for our state to prioritize women's lives."