More than half of all women who were murdered last year were killed by their partners or a relative, according to a new study from the United Nations.
Of 87,000 recorded female homicide cases last year, about 50,000 of them — 58% — were committed by a family member or intimate partner, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Broken down, that comes out to six women killed every hour and 137 every day at the hands of someone they know.
“While the vast majority of homicide victims are men, women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes. They are also the most likely to be killed by intimate partners and family,” UDC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in a statement.
Globally, Africa (3.1 victims per 100,000 women) is the most dangerous region, followed by North and South America (1.6 victims), Oceania (1.3 victims) and Asia (0.9 victims). Europe has the lowest risk at just 0.7 victims per 100,000 women.
In the United States, female victims tend to be younger than their assailants, according to the study, and domestic violence is more common among couples in which the male partner is at least 15 years older than the female partner.
The United Nations also said that female sex workers are the group most likely to be murdered, with rates about 18 times highter in the U.S. than women who are not sex workers.
The Office on Drugs and Crime emphasized that legal changes and early interventions can help victims of domestic violence before it’s too late, as well as training for officials in the criminal justice system.
Earlier in the month, U.N. Women said that movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp are “making offenders accountable, exposing the prevalence of violence from high office to factory floor.”