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Feminist News


March-31-97

Domestic Violence Leading Cause of Murder of Women

The first study of its kind, conducted by the New York City Department of Health, has found that domestic violence is the leading cause of death among murdered New York City women. From 1990 to 1994, of the 1,156 women killed, investigators determined the relationship of the killer to the victim in 484 of the cases. Of these, current or former boyfriends and husbands killed over one-half of the women. In one-third of the cases where husbands killed their wives, the women were trying to end the relationship. In one-quarter of the cases where husbands or boyfriends were the murderers, children were also killed or injured. Dr. Susan Witt, who lead the study, also found that women killed in domestic violence struggles were often, "punched and hit and burned and thrown out of windows." The study also found that two-thirds of domestic violence deaths victims lived in the Bronx or Brooklyn, New Yorks poorest areas, and three-quarters of the victims were African-American or Latina.

Media Resources: The New York Times - March 31