EDITORIAL: The List of Disgrace
The List Of Disgrace: South Carolina is 5th, and no longer 1st in the disgrace list of states. Some will see this as progress, and will pat themselves on the back for passing new laws.
We are not among those.
The List Of Disgrace is now topped by Alaska. Shame. Shame, on those people for allowing violence against women. It wasn’t long ago that others were shaming us, for being 1st. We would say, “Now, it’s our turn,” but we have plenty to be shamed for, also.
A study by the Violence Policy Center says South Carolina is the 5th worst state in the nation for the rate of women murdered by men. While this is an issue unto itself, we in South Carolina have witnessed this violence extended. In Greenville, a woman shot another woman, then herself and her two children to death in a domestic situation.
Last week in Mauldin, a man apparently shot his son to death, then shot himself in what was described as “a family situation.”
Male on female violence needs attention, and immediately so, but it seems strains on families and relationships are continuing to have tragic consequences. It has always been so, and finding the underlying problems and solutions (more counseling, drug programs, mental health, temporary financial assistance, fewer military deployments, anger management) are too often looked on as sissy or liberal. It’s clear something awful is going on when you look at this list, released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
TOP 10 STATES
1 – Alaska 2.86 deaths per 100,000 people
2 – Nevada 2.29 per 100,000
3 – Louisiana 2.22 per 100,000
4 – Tennessee 2.10 per 100,000
5 – South Carolina 1.83 per 100,000
6 – Arkansas 1.78 per 100,000
7 – Kansas 1.65 per 100,000
8 – Kentucky 1.60 per 100,000
9 – Texas 1.54 per 100,000
10 – (tie) New Mexico 1.52 per 100,000
10 – (tie) Missouri 1.52 per 100,000
The numbers-crunchers among us will want to know the study uses 2015 data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, which is the most recent available. For SC, it found that 93% of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew; 55% were killed with a gun; 64% were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers.
The study says, in part:
“This is the 20th edition of When Men Murder Women. From 1996 to 2015, the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents dropped from 1.57 per 100,000 women in 1996 to 1.12 per 100,000 women in 2015, a decrease of 29 percent. The data presented over the years in When Men Murder Women coincides with the passage and implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which will be 23 years old this year, as well as the passage of restrictions on firearms possession by persons with misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence or those who are subject to certain protective orders for domestic violence. Since the passage of these laws, domestic violence has increasingly been treated as the serious problem that it is. States have also reformed their laws to better protect victims of domestic abuse and remove firearms from persons with histories of domestic violence.”
As with a lot of things statistical, it seems the “cure” is to have a relative small population, or be an island paradise. At the bottom of the men killing women list are: Delaware, 6 of these homicides in 2015; Hawaii and Idaho, 7 each; Maine, 3; Montana, 6; Nebraska, 5; New Hampshire, 2; North and South Dakota, 3 and 4, respectively; Utah, 6; Vermont and Wyoming, 1 each.
Maybe it would be useful to see if these “bottom states” have CDV-prevention programs, or is this just a statistical anomaly? Because, any way you look at it, for an affluent nation - or maybe even because of our wealth and arrogance and denial - like ours, the United States of America in 2015, this is a number that is totally preventable:
1,686; 1.12 women dead per 100,000 people.