S.C. Homicide Capital for Women


For the second time in five years, South Carolina ranks as
the most violent state in the country for women who are
killed in single-victim, single-offender cases, according
to the Violence Policy Center in Washington. According to
the center’s 2001 report released Sept. 26, there is a 95-
percent likelihood the victims know their killers. Of the
victims who know their attackers, 67 percent of them were
wives, girlfriends or estranged lovers of the assailant.

“The biggest threat to a woman in South Carolina is not a
stranger lurking in the shadows, but someone they know,”
said Jennifer Friedman, spokeswoman for the Violence Policy

South Carolina has been no stranger to high rankings in the
center’s man-on-woman homicide statistics. The state ranked
third in 2000 for the man-on-woman homicide rate and was
first in 1998, according to Friedman. The center’s report
is based on FBI homicide reports.

In 2001, South Carolina topped Alabama, Nevada and
Louisiana as the state with the highest homicide rate for
man-on-woman homicides, logging in 3.15 homicides per
100,000 people. Of the 2001 homicides in which the weapons
could be identified, 26 out 58 cases in South Carolina were
committed with firearms, the center reported. Thirteen were
stabbing or cutting deaths, 11 were with bodily force and
five involved blunt objects.

Killing of women does not play favorites when it comes to
race, according to the Violence Policy Center. Of the 64
dead, 32 were white and 31 were black. One woman was Asian.
The average age of victims was 36 years old.

“The majority of the time a murder is committed by someone
who knows the victims,” said Charleston County sheriff’s
spokeswoman Capt. Dana Valentine. “In domestic cases,
there’s usually a pattern of abuse that results in
uncontrolled violence.”

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