WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- South Carolina leads the nation in the rate of women killed by men, averaging 2.54 homicides per 100,000 people, a Violence Policy Center report said.
The rate in South Carolina, which has been in the top 10 states for the past decade, was more than double the national average, the Violence Policy Center said in a release.
The annual report, published Wednesday, coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the non-profit center, based in Washington said. The study covers homicides involving one female victim and one male offender, using data from the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report.
This year's report applies to 2011, the most recent year for which data are available.
"The sad reality is that women are nearly always murdered by someone they know," said Kristen Rand, the center's legislative director. "Already, many elected officials and community leaders are working tirelessly to reduce the toll of domestic violence."
Rand said the United States needs "new policies in place from local communities to the federal government to protect women from harm."
After South Carolina, the top 10 states were, in descending order, Alaska, Oklahoma, Delaware, Arizona, Tennessee, Idaho, West Virginia, Louisiana and New Mexico.
Nationwide, 1,707 females were killed by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2011, at a rate of 1.17 per 100,000, the center said. For homicides in which the a relationship could be identified, 94 percent of the female victims were killed by a man they knew.
In homicides in which the weapon could be determined, 51 percent of female killings were committed with firearms, more than killings in which another weapon was used.