Instances of and fatalities from domestic violence have plagued South Carolina for years, and according to a new study released from the Violence Policy Center (VPC), “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data,” the problem continues to linger in the Palmetto State.

Data from 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available, reveals that the homicide rate of women murdered by men in South Carolina is 1.83 per 100,000 women — fifth in the nation. The national rate in 2015 was 1.12 per 100,000. The number of female homicide victims in South Carolina in 2015 was 46.

The above statistics reflect the number of “homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender,” according to a press release from the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault.

This is the sixth year in a row that South Carolina has ranked in the Top 5 states for women killed by men.

“At Safe Harbor, we hope this statistic will mobilize systems throughout our state and local communities to work collaboratively and diligently to provide support for victims and their families and to hold perpetrators accountable,” Julie Meredith, the organization’s program director, told the Greenville Journal. Safe Harbor is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence in the Upstate.

VPC has released their “When Men Murder Women” report annually for the past 20 years shortly before October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The study uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report.

In South Carolina, 53 percent of homicides in which a weapon could be identified were committed using a gun. Thirteen females were “killed with knives or other cutting instruments.”

In cases where a victim-offender relationship was known, 39 out of 43 women were murdered by someone they knew. Of those women, 72 percent “were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders.”

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