States Where Women Are Most Likely to Be Killed by Their Partners

More than half of all female homicides are at the hands of a partner, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research. The most common cause of death is by firearm. And abused women are eight times more likely to be killed if their abuser is a firearm owner, according to the Center for American Progress. Although men can also become victims of domestic violence, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence found women are more likely to become a victim.

We took a look at the number of women who are murdered by their partners each year. To do this, we reviewed data provided by the Violence Policy Center, which tracks the number of women murdered by a single male offender. Overall, 93% of these female homicide victims knew their killer, and 64% were murdered by a man they had an intimate relationship with, such as a husband or ex-boyfriend.  Here are 15 states where women are most likely to be killed by their partners.

15. Oklahoma

oklahoma city

Just over 40% of homicides were due to domestic violence. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.37
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 27

The homicide rate is down from 1.94 the year before when the number of female homicide victims was 38. A study conducted by the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Task Force revealed 41% of all homicides in Oklahoma were a result of domestic violence. In addition, Oklahoma police spend 33% of their time responding to domestic violence calls. Out of the 219 homicides that took place in Oklahoma in 2012, 53 were domestic abuse.

14. Georgia

Downtown of Athens

The numbers are thankfully declining. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.38
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 72

The homicide rate is down from 1.62 the year before when there were 84 female homicide victims. The National Domestic Violence Hotline received 2,741 calls and online chat communications from Georgia in 2015, and the state ranked No. 7 for hotline contact volume. Roughly 43% of those calls were from people between the ages of 25 and 35, and about 18% were from people between the ages of 36 and 45. When it came to the caller’s ethnicity, about 34% were white, 52% were black or African American, 7% were Hispanic, and 7% were of other ethnicities, according to research from the National Domestic Violence Hotline. 

13. West Virginia

Sunset at the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia

There is a high frequency of calls to the domestic violence hotline. | BackyardProduction/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.39
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 13

The homicide rate is up significantly from 0.96 the year before when there were nine female homicide victims. In 2010, 12,661 domestic violence offenses were reported to law enforcement in West Virginia. The state’s domestic violence hotline call frequency is an indication that many people involved in an intimate partnership don’t feel safe. The hotline receives a call every nine minutes. What’s even more starling is that 2 out of 3 women murdered in West Virginia are killed by a family or household member.

12. Rhode Island

Harbor View of Providence Rhode Island

The rate is high for such a small state. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.47
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 8

The homicide rate in Rhode Island is up from 0.37 the year before when there were two female homicide victims. According to the National Coalition on Domestic Violence research, in a single day in Rhode Island the state’s domestic violence crisis hotline receives 46 calls, 59 women and children spend the night in a shelter, and 28 people use domestic violence community services.

11. New Mexico

Taos, New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the most dangerous states. | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.52
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 16

The homicide rate is down from 1.71 the year before when the number of female homicide victims was 18. New Mexico is also in the No. 4 spot on our list of most dangerous states. This state has a high rate of assaults per capita, as well as a high unemployment rate. Albuquerque, New Mexico, has some of the highest reported crime, with 2,897 violent crimes, 32 murders, 847 robberies, and 1,825 aggravated assault cases, according to FBI crime statistics.

10. Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

There were nine suicides attributed to domestic violence in 2016. | tomofbluesprings/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.52
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 47

The homicide rate in Missouri is up from 1.26 the year before when there were 39 female homicide victims. There were 44,372 domestic violence incidents in Missouri in 2016, according to the Missouri Statistical Analysis Center. Jackson County had the highest number of domestic violence incidents, with 8,561 in 2016. In addition, there were nine domestic violence suicides in the state that same year.

9. Texas

pumping oil

The homicide rate is increasing. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.54
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 213

The homicide rate is up from 1.44 the year before when there were 195 female homicide victims. Roughly 1 in 3 Texas residents will experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence. More than 70,000 Texans sought services from family violence programs. The National Domestic Violence Hotline received 16,624 calls and 1,125 chat requests from Texas residents in 2015.

8. Kentucky

Kentucky Derby

More than 4,000 women and children sought refuge in 2009. | Elsa/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.6
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 36

The homicide rate is up from 1.29 the year before when there were 29 female homicide victims. In 2009, more than 4,000 women and children sought shelter in spouse abuse centers. There are roughly 26 organizations in Kentucky that provide domestic violence services. The most common type of service in Kentucky is emergency services.  

7. Kansas

A warm, beautiful sunset along the Arkansas River in Wichita, Kansas

There was an arrest for domestic violence every 45 minutes in 2015. | ricardoreitmeyer/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.65
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 24

The homicide rate is up from 1.17 the year before when there were 17 female homicide victims. In Kansas, one domestic violence murder occurs every 13 days. One domestic violence arrest was made roughly every 45 minutes in 2015. In addition, roughly 30% of Kansas women report knowing someone, besides themselves, who is a domestic violence victim.

6. Arkansas

Arkansas

The homicide rate is up. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.78
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 27

The homicide rate is up from 1.39 the year before when there were 21 female homicide victims. The National Domestic Violence Hotline received 452 calls and online chat communications from Arkansas in 2015. Arkansas ranked 36 for hotline contact volume. Roughly 35% of those calls were from people between the ages of 25 and 35, and about 20% were from people between the ages of 18 and 24. When it comes to the caller’s ethnicity, about 64% were white, 24% were black or African American, 7% were Hispanic, and 5% were of other ethnicities, according to research from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

5. South Carolina

dock in South Carolina

South Carolina has never left the top 10. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 1.83
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 46

The homicide rate in South Carolina is up from 1.73 the year before when there were 43 female homicide victims. There were 18,740 emergency hotline calls made to South Carolina domestic violence organizations in 2015. In South Carolina, the homicide rate for women killed by men is usually more than twice the national average. In every year that homicides have been recorded, South Carolina ranked in the top 10 states in the nation in the rate of women killed by men, according to the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

4. Tennessee

Gatlinburg Tennessee

Every day, state domestic violence programs help over a thousand people. | Sean Pavone Photo/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 2.1
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 71

The homicide rate is up from 1.58 the year before when there were 53 female homicide victims. In just one day, roughly 1,094 people served are served by Tennessee’s 33 domestic violence programs. Among all the requests for help, about 43% were housing requests. Tennessee is No. 6 on our list of most dangerous states. This state has one of the most assaults per capita. Memphis, Tennessee, has some of the highest reported crime, with 5,733 violent crimes, 88 murders, 1,537 robberies, and 3,879 aggravated assault cases, according to FBI crime statistics.

3. Louisiana

Dusk falls over Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, 11 July 2006, almost one year after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. For tourists strolling through the French Quarter it's easy to forget that Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans a year ago. The beignets are fresh, trinkets and designer clothes are artfully arranged in shop windows, and hurricanes are spinning in the bars on Bourbon Street. But while the music, food and good times have come back, the crowds have not and the city is struggling to make ends meet while its main industry remains crippled. With more than 10 million visitors a year, tourism was once a 5.5 billion dollar industry in New Orleans, accounting for 40 percent of the city's tax revenues and employing 85,000 people. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

New Orleans has a high level of crime. | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 2.22
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 53

The homicide rate is up from 2.15 the year before when there were 51 female homicide victims. Louisiana is No. 11 on our list of most dangerous states. New Orleans has some of the highest reported crime in Louisiana, with 2,041 violent crimes, 67 murders, 685 robberies, and 990 aggravated assault cases, according to FBI crime statistics.

2. Nevada

Reno, Nevada downtown

The homicide rate is up. | ddub3429/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 2.29
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 33

The homicide rate is up from 1.98 the year before when there were 28 female homicide victims. The National Domestic Violence Hotline received 1,791 calls and online chat communications from Nevada in 2015. Nevada ranked 23 for hotline contact volume. Roughly 42% of those calls were from people between the ages of 25 and 36, and about 19% were from people between the ages of 37 and 45. When it came to the caller’s ethnicity, about 43% were white, 23% were black or African American, 17% were Hispanic, and 17% were of other ethnicities, according to research from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

1. Alaska

Byers Lake, Alaska is the closest view to Mount McKinley

It still holds the top spot despite a decrease from the previous year. | mbarrettimages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Homicide rate (per 100,000 women): 2.86
  • Female homicide victims in 2015: 10

Although the homicide rate is down from 3.15 the year before when there were 11 female homicide victims, Alaska still takes the top spot for being the state with the most women killed by an intimate partner. Out of every 100 women who live in Alaska, 40 have experienced intimate-partner violence; 33 have been the victim of sexual violence; and 50 have experience intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or both, according to the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Alaska is also in the No. 1 spot on our list of most dangerous states. Alaska has the most assaults per capita, according to WalletHub research. Anchorage, Alaska, has some of the highest reported crime, with 1,692 violent crimes, nine murders, and 1,055 aggravated assault cases in 2016, according to FBI crime statistics.

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