Categorized | Domestic Violence

Nevada Continues to Lead Nation in Women Killed by Men

Posted in Domestic Violence on September 26, 2012

According to a new study, Nevada continues to lead the nation in per capita deaths of women at the hands of men.

Nevada ranked first in per capita deaths of women by men five of the past six years. It had 2.62 women killed per 100,000 people in 2010, the report said. This is over twice the national rate of 1.22 per 100,000 people. It was followed by South Carolina at 1.94.

The executive director of the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, Sue Meuschke, stated that the state had such a high rate for several reasons, including the economy and Nevada’s gun culture.Due to the poor economy, women in dangerous domestic situations are waiting longer before they leave because they have less options for money, housing and other basic resources.

Meuschke said that guns are also a problem, because Nevada is a culture that says that you should possess a firearm, and mixing firearms and domestic violence is a recipe for murder. She stated that solutions to reduce the murders are complex and that economic resources must be put in place for those who need them, such as vouchers for housing, access to jobs that make someone financially independent and safe and affordable child care.

There are laws that prohibit someone who has a domestic violence protection order against them to possess a firearm and prohibits them from owning or possessing a gun if they have a domestic violence conviction. It is difficult, however, to verify who has guns that should not, and Meuschke said that it isn’t so much about the prohibition as it about putting systems in place that work.

The chief deputy district attorney of the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office team that prosecutes domestic violence said Nevada’s tourist-based lifestyle adds to the domestic violence problem, because people go to Reno and Las Vegas to drink, party and even use drugs, and sometimes it becomes violent.

Prosecution in these cases can be difficult, because victims are often in a position of need. This makes them reluctant to prosecute because they are financially or emotionally dependent on their abusers and are more willing to forgive any abuse, and a cycle develops.

The Nevada Attorney General Domestic Violence Fatality Review Statewide Team met the day after the report was released and is scheduled to release results and recommendations in January.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Nevada Once Again Leads Nation in Women Murdered by Men,” Josh Sugarmann, September 26, 2012

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