A new study from the United Nations finds that more than half of female murder victims last year were killed by their partners or family members. The U.N.’s Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that according to their research using available homicide data, that means six women are killed every hour by people they know.
Africa and the Americas are regions where women are most likely to be killed by people they know, with the rate in America being 1.6 victims per 100,000 women. “Targeted criminal justice responses are needed to prevent and end gender-related killings,” UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov wrote in a press release for the study, which added that there hasn’t been much progress in protecting victims of intimate partner violence or family-related homicide has in recent years despite legislation.
It’s hard to read these findings and not think of Aisha Fraser, who was stabbed to death by her ex-husband Lance Mason last week. Mason had a documented history of assaulting Fraser, serving nine months in prison four years ago for punching her 20 times and breaking her skull. And Fraser’s death could have been prevented if law enforcement and members of Mason’s community saw his behavior as capable of escalation, but his 2014 arrest was treated as a one-time mistake he could easily recover from. We know as well that mass shootings are often linked to domestic and family violence, according to a 2015 study, and that women in abusive relationships are more likely to be murdered if their partner owns a gun.