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This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgow licensed under CC 2.0

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When Men Murder Women: A Review of 25 Years of Female Homicide Victimization in the United States

October 1, 2023

In January of 2021, the FBI changed the way crime data are collected and reported, which has impacted the reliability of subsequent data. That year, the FBI retired the SHR system and replaced it with the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). While NIBRS will eventually provide much more comprehensive and robust crime data compared to the SHR, transitioning law enforcement agencies to the new data collection and reporting system has been slow and burdensome. Indeed, many law enforcement agencies did not transition to NIBRS by January of 2021, which has had a significant impact on the reliability of 2021 crime data. After a careful analysis of that year's crime data, the VPC has determined that current NIBRS data are not reliable for state-by-state gun violence research as required by When Men Murder Women.Lacking reliable crime data from 2021, this report will instead focus on trends revealed in previous editions of When Men Murder Women over the past 25 years. Previous years' reports described the age and race of victims, weapons used, the relationship between victim and offender, and circumstance. Prior reports also ranked the states by their rates of females killed by males. This study summarizes the findings of these reports and the patterns and characteristics of these homicides between 1996 and 2020.

American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, Eighth Edition

October 1, 2023

Murder-suicide is "a dramatic, violent event" in which a person commits one murder or multiple murders, and then shortly after commits suicide. What makes these acts particularly disturbing is that they affect more than one person and often involve a family. Murder-suicides are almost always committed by a man with a firearm. Yet outside of high-profile mass shootings, the phenomenon of murder-suicide usually garners little public attention as a significant contributor to gun-related death and injury. This is despite the fact that, as one medical professional has observed, "because many murder suicides result in the death or injury of family members and sometimes mass murder, they cause countless additional morbidity, family trauma, and disruption of communities."Currently, comprehensive, up-to-date information specific to murder-suicides in the United States is not readily available, making it challenging to assess the toll in death and injury. In order to more fully understand the human costs of murder-suicide, in 2002 the Violence Policy Center (VPC) began collecting and analyzing news reports of murder-suicides, resulting in a series of studies titled American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States. This is the eighth edition of the study. For each analysis, the VPC tracked murder-suicide incidents over a six-month period using Internet news reports. For this most recent edition of the study, news reports of murder-suicides were collected for the period January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021. To be included in the study, both the murder and subsequent suicide had to occur within 72 hours of each other and within this six-month time period. Recognizing the lack of publicly available data, this study likely provides one of the most current and accurate portraits possible of murder suicide in the United States.