A recent Washington Post blog post explored the ways that the media covers domestic violence homicides, and how the language used can fail to hold the perpetrator accountable and skew the public’s perception of the situation. Using phrases like “he just snapped,” or “unrequited love” greatly minimize the purposeful violence that was committed against these women and children. Please take a minute to read this powerful article and listen closely next time you hear about a woman murdered on the news. Call it what it is.
Unfortunately, more than three women every day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2010, 1,192 women were murdered by an intimate partner, accounting for 39% of all murders of females (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the United States, November 2013). Missouri ranked 15th in the highest rate of men murdering women (When Men Murder Women: Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data, September 2013). In 2012, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported 41,494 incidents of domestic violence and 76 deaths involving domestic violence in Missouri and 6,964 incidents in St. Louis County and St. Louis City (Missouri State Highway Patrol, 2013). Homicide is the second leading cause of traumatic death for pregnant and postpartum women in the United States, accounting for 31 percent of maternal injury deaths (Homicide: A Leading Cause of Injury Deaths Among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in the United States, 1991-1999, American Journal of Public Health, March 2005). This is more than “unrequited love.” This is brutal murder.