A new study by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) found Oklahoma ranks fourth in the country in the rate of women murdered by men at 1.94 women per 100,000.

“Women are almost always killed by someone they know, and the majority are victims of domestic homicide. Local, state, and national policymakers must make preventing domestic violence a priority,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Guns in the hands of abusers can escalate domestic violence to homicide in the blink of an eye. Removing guns from a domestic violence situation is crucial.”

A release from the VPC stated this is the fourth year in a row Oklahoma has ranked in the top 10.

Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said he has not seen a homicide like those referenced in the study locally, but domestic violence calls have become more prevalent.

“We do have weekly, and sometimes even daily domestic violence calls,” he said.

McKinney said during times of economic downturn domestic violence crimes tend to rise. The SCSO removes victims from the area where the incident took place and takes them to a secure location, according to McKinney.

“We do what we can, and we can prove an attack compelled by evidence we will make an arrest,” he said.

Protective orders can be put in place following the arrest, according to McKinney, but often times the victim will return to the situation he said.

“All we can do is council them in these situations, but we certainly can’t force them not to return,” he said.

Nationwide, 1,613 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2014, at a rate of 1.08 per 100,000, according to the study.

A full copy of the report can be found at

http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2016.pdf.

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