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Black Women Are Killed at Disproportionate Rates, New Report Shows

Black women are being killed at disproportionate rates compared to white women. They often know their offender, are in an intimate relationship with them, and are of the same race.

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) released their annual report titled, “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data,” which contains shocking figures that place the Black community under a much-needed microscope.

The study covers year 2011 (the most recent year for which data is available) and homicides between one female murder victim, and one male offender using information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

These findings boldly stand out in the report:

  • 94% (415 of 443) of Black females killed in a single-victim, single- offender incident knew their killer
  • 52% (216 of 415) of Black women who knew their offenders were wives, common-law wives, ex wives, or girlfriends of the offenders
  • 93% (459 of 492) of the homicides of Black females were intra-racial
  • Firearms, especially handguns, were the most common weapons used by males to murder Black females.
  • In homicides where the age of the victim was reported, 12% of Black female victims were less than 18 years old (55 victims), and five percent were 65 years of age or older (22 victims). The average age of the female victims was 34 years of age.
  • The vast majority of homicides of Black females murdered by males were unrelated to any other felony crime. Most often, Black females were killed during an argument.

This information brings a new perspective to cases like Marissa Alexander’s.

Alexander is the Black Florida woman who fired a warning shot during a fight with her estranged husband, Rico Gray, who had been previously arrested on charges of abusing her.

The shot, which rang out in the presence of Gray’s two children, did not harm anyone, but it did get Alexander an initial 20-year sentence after being convicted on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon – and now with a July retrial pending, she could face up to 60 years.

Read: Marissa Alexander Could See Her Sentence Tripled to 60 Years

Alexander maintains the defense that she was standing her ground.

As evidenced by the VPC report, more often than not, Black women are not surviving to tell their stories in cases like this—inside or outside of courts.

Awareness of the lack of adequate protection for Black women is not enough. There needs to be policies and laws in place to anchor the much-needed change.

“Many elected officials and community leaders are working tirelessly to reduce the toll of domestic violence,” said Kristen Rand, Violence Policy Center Legislative Director. “Yet despite these efforts, the numbers remain unacceptably high. We need new policies in place from local communities to the federal government to protect women from harm.”

What people are saying

13 thoughts on “Black Women Are Killed at Disproportionate Rates, New Report Shows

  1. Mohammed Shakur says:

    Thank you for posting this. Time to start sharing.

  2. Softee Facee says:


  3. Honestly, there are many factors that go into this subject. There is one that immediately comes to mind. I know for me, and I have shared similar conversation with my fellow brothers, I operate MUCH better in a peaceful situation. My wife is capable of operating within chaos, I love her for it, she truly completes me. But if there is no peace everywhere else, at least there should be peace at home, and both husband/boyfriend and wife/girlfriend share an equal responsibility in making/keeping/improving the peace of the household. This adjustment, by itself, would serve to reduce the number SIGNIFICANTLY, possibly 70-80% reduction in violence of any sorts, much less murders!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Reading about Ms. Alexander enraged me. Marissa Alexander has no business getting any time in an incident where no one was injured or killed. That case is malicious prosecution by the state. Trumping up false charges against a black person so that she loses, job, property & children. Wonder how many innocent blacks have been railroaded? Black males are toxic towards black women.

  5. Paul Wells says:

    More Black feminist propaganda and Black men bashing. Do your research and verify.

  6. Paul Wells says:

    Negro Bed Wench rhetoric. Be silent, wench.

  7. Paul Wells says:

    As a Black men, you should feel ashamed to side with this. Be a man!

  8. Mohammed Shakur says:

    Paul Wells I'm definitely being a man. This is far from feminist shit. Read between the lines, brother. 93% of the homicides were committed within interracial relationships. That means non-black males are doing majority of the killing. In other words, black women who are convinced they can find love with non blacks are sorely mistaken.

  9. Mohammed Shakur says:

    Ummmmm… hate to break it to you but read it again: non black males are doing most of the killings.

  10. Paul Wells says:

    Mohammed Shakur True. But Black men must always call out when Black males are blamed for the worlds troubles. The abuse of women of every race is done by men of that race. Black men must keep themselves in check and seek intervention and counsel if necessary from strong, thorough Black men to stem the 'abuse'. I use quotes because many Black women instigate and cause tension, which results often in hostile backlashes. We need to speak on this.

  11. Paul Wells says:

    Mohammed Shakur 93% (459 of 492) of the homicides of Black females were intra-racial. The stats in this article says that Black men are doing the killing.

  12. Mohammed Shakur says:

    Paul Wells I was seriously convinced that was a typo. I've read numerous articles on this website and they had a few of them. Thank you for pointing that out, brother. Now I'm upset.

  13. This is saddening but even though many I see are saying this is bs and feminist talk, why is talking about the faults of black men against black women all of a sudden feministic when we know there are enough to perpetuate the problems in our community? Not to say how black men treat black women is the only problem because it isn't but it is indeed one of the problems in our community. Just this month alone ive heard personally about 3 black women who got killed at the hands of a black man she either knew or was in a relationship with. That's not something we should ignore because like we say black women have something against black men, black men have something against black women as well, not all but enough to where this is happening too often and hurting our community. Many black men don't respect black women even if a single black woman presented herself respectfully and didn't disrespect him; he has his mind made about black women so he treats them all the same. Now black women do this with black men too but this article is about black men on black women and their treatment of us. It is definitely a problem and definitely something we need to address

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