At the end of last year, city officials announced that New York saw the lowest number of murder victims in 2012 in over 50 years. A new report by the NYPD provides the data behind those rates and a visual analysis of the 419 victims, as well as the 290 suspects identified in their murders. Among the report’s more startling results are the homicide statistics relating to women.
One in six homicide victims were women, and 68 percent of those murders were incidents of domestic violence. Meanwhile, just seven percent of murder suspects were women.
A Violence Policy Center report, “When Men Murder Women,” released last year shows that New York’s domestic violence murder rates in 2012 are close to the national average: Sixty-five percent of female homicide victims nationwide are the wives or intimate partners of their killers.
But although New York’s overall murder rate has declined, that of women killed in domestic violence actually climbed almost 15 percent last year. According to the NYPD’s 2011 murder report, 54 percent of all murders of women were a result of domestic violence.
“Domestic violence continues to be a leading public health threat to women here in New York City,” says Liz Roberts, chief program officer at Safe Horizon, the New York-based victims’ services agency, which provides support to those affected by domestic violence and seeks to prevent its perpetuation. The grim new statistic not only underscores that point but suggests that it’s an understatement.