- Ada, Oklahoma

October 7, 2013

Domestic Violence Awareness Month spotlights violence against women

Art Lawler Staff Writer

Ada —

   Oklahoma can be a dangerous place for a wife, a mother, even a teenage girl.

Consider that Oklahoma has moved up from No. 17 to No. 3 among females who became victims of single male homicides in 2011. 

Those numbers are the latest U.S. available data on the subject. Oklahoma has a higher homicide rate of men killing women than 47 other states in America. When Men Murder Women is an annual report prepared by the national Violence Policy Center detailing the reality of homicides committed against females by single male offenders. 

A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for the Pontotoc Courthouse plaza at 6 p.m. Oct. 17 in observance of October’s designation as Family Violence Awareness Month.

Janet Winters, an administrative assistant for the Family Crisis Center in Ada, was asked why Oklahoma seems to have such a problem with men abusing women.

“Unfortunately, the disconnect is education,” Winters said. “The key to making a difference is educating people to be aware of what’s happening.

“Every segment of society has to be educated, every age group,” she said. “We need to teach our kids what healthy relationships look like.

“It can go across any segment of society,” she said. “It crosses all lines. People we would never suspect  can come off the opposite inside the home.”

She said the most dangerous time is when women are leaving a relationship. “The power and control are gone. That’s when violence often occurs,” she said.

Children caught in the middle can be killed. So can spouses, 95 to 97 percent of whom are female victims.

Here are the numbers and rankings of each of the 10 most dangerous states based on the statistical number of females who became homicide victims in 2011 because of single male violence:

 • No. 1. South Carolina, 2.5 per 100,000.

 • No. 2. Alaska, 2.01, per 100,000  

 • No. 3. Oklahoma,  1.99, per 100,000.

 • No.  4. Delaware, 1.92 per 100,000. 

 • No. 5. Arizona, 1.84 per 100,000.  

 • No. 6. Tennessee 1.80  per 100,000  

 • No. 7.  Idaho 1.77 per 100,000  

 • No. 8. West Virginia 1.70 per 100,000   

 • No. 9. Louisiana 1.67 per 100,000 

 • No. 10. New Mexico 1.62 per 100,000


Thirty seven women were victims of homicide in 2011. Only one of those women was murdered by a stranger. 

 The rest were killed by male intimates.

 While the NRA’s axiom is undeniably true that “guns don’t kill, people do,” people who kill their spouses, lovers, girlfriends and boyfriends use handguns to do it by a wide margin.

Women in this state are killed by handguns more than all other weapons combined.

A small percentage of Oklahoma women are killed by knives in the hands of men. Three women were physically killed by the men in their lives who used such methods as choking and beating.

Wives who gain comfort from having firearms near their bed, the study shows, may be getting a false sense of security.

According to one analysis, “purchasing a handgun provides no protection against homicide and, in fact, is associated with an increase in their risk for intimate partner homicide.”

A 2003 study of the risks of firearms in the home found that females living with a gun were nearly three times more likely to be murdered than females with no gun in the home.

In 2011, there were 261 justifiable homicides committed in the U.S. There were 1,707 females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in the U.S. 

The findings also argue against claims regarding the nature of lethal violence against females.

 •  In 2011, 94 percent of female victims (1,509 out of 1,601) were murdered by a male known to them;

 •  16 times as many females were murdered by a male they knew (1,509 victims) than were killed by male strangers (92).

 • during the course of an argument, 264 women were shot and killed by husband or an intimate acquaintance;

 • nationwide, for homicides in which the weapon could be determined (1,551), more female homicides were committed with firearms (51 percent) than with any other weapon. Knives and other cutting instruments accounted for 20 percent of all female murders. 

The 24-hour a day Domestic Violence Center Hotline phone number in Ada is 580-436-3504.