While this study does not focus solely on domestic violence homicide or guns, it provides a stark reminder that domestic violence and guns make a deadly combination. Firearms are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes.
Instead, they are all too often used to inflict harm on the very people they were intended to protect. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports, in 2010 there were only 278 justifiable homicides committed by private citizens. Of these, only 34 involved women killing men. Of those, only 23 involved firearms, with 16 of the 23 involving handguns. While firearms are at times used by private citizens to kill criminals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the most common scenarios of lethal gun use in America in 2010, the most recent final data available, are suicide (19,392), homicide (11,078), or fatal unintentional injury (606).
When Men Murder Women is an annual report prepared by the Violence Policy Center detailing the reality of homicides committed against females. The study analyzes the most recent Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The information used for this report is for the year 2010. Once again, this is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2010 data on female homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest female victim/male offender homicide rates, and the first to rank the states by the rate of female homicides.
This study examines only those instances involving one female homicide victim and one male offender. This is the exact scenario - the lone male attacker and the vulnerable woman - that is often used to promote gun ownership among women.