We found that 42% of female  killers used a firearm, 38% used a knife, and the rest used another method.

This compares with male killers, 51% of whom used a firearm and 21% of whom used a knife. 

The fact that female killers use less lethal methods suggests that lower female lethality may not indicate that there is less female perpetrated domestic violence but simply indicates that female perpetrators of domestic violence utilize different methods to control their target.

We examined the 2014 Georgia Uniform Crime Summary Report available here: http://gbi.georgia.gov/sites/gbi.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/2014CrimeStatisticsSummaryReport.pdf

In Georgia in 2014 there were 317 reported gun/knife wounds as a result of female perpetrated domestic violence and 331 gun/knife wounds reported as a result of male perpetrated domestic violence.

Female perpetrators have virtually the same rate of inflicting gun and knife wounds as male perpetrators. The rate of wounds and NOT fatalities is a better measure of female/male domestic violence.

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There is often an effort to sympathize and come up with explanations for killings by women. In June 2016 Christy Sheats called a family meeting and then murdered her two daughters in her husbands presence. The clearly premeditated killing acts included the mother's re-loading of the gun and pursuit of her daughters outside the home.  It was reported that she did this in part due to a disagreement about "grounding" her 22 year old daughter, who was about to marry (and thus presumably leave Ms. Sheats control) . If this had been done by a male, it would have been identified as classic domestic violence (killing a family member resisting and leaving the perpetrators control). Instead the female perpetrator's mental health is prominently discussed including the prior death of her "Paw Paw". Even horrific killings by women are presented as sympathetically as possible. One example of this media presentation is available here:

Information about male perpetrated killings of female victims is published annually by the Violence Policy Center.

Available at: www.vpc.org


To balance this information we have similarly used the FBI's supplemental homicide data to analyze single victim adult males killed by single offender adult females.

The FBI's data can be found here:


We restricted our cases to those where there was a known relationship between the female perpetrator and her male victim.

In 2013 (the last year covered by FBI data), there were 373 men killed for a rate of 0.25 men/100,000 men in the US killed by women per year.

This compares with 1568 women killed by men for a rate of 1 woman/100,000 women in the US killed per year.

To investigate the lower lethality of female killers we looked at a breakdown of the weapons that the female killers used