Pregnant women, or women who have given birth within the past year, are more likely to be murdered than die of any other cause, a new study finds.
A team led by researchers from Tulane University found that 3.62 homicides per every 100,000 women who were either pregnant or within a year of having gave birth from 2018 to 2019.
They were 16 percent more likely to be murdered than the average woman, and the homicide rate among pregnant women or those who had given birth within the last 42 days exceeded the rate of all leading causes of maternal mortality.
Black women are at a higher risk of being murdered than those of other races.
Pregnant women in America have long been those most vulnerable to domestic violence and murder, and recent upticks in crime has especially affected the group.
Pregnant women, or women who have recently given birth, are more likely to be a victim of homicide than die from any other cause. Black women is particular are especially at risk, and young pregnant women are six times as likely to be murdered than their peers (file photo)
‘Our overall main finding was that homicide is more common among pregnant postpartum women, compared to nonpregnant, non-postpartum women,’ Dr Maeve Wallace, lead author of the study and assistant professor at Tulane, said to The Lilly.
‘And that’s particularly true for Black women, when we stratify by race, and for young women.’
Researchers, who published their findings last month in Obstetrics & Gynecology, gathered data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) from 2018 and 2019.
Women aged ten to 44 were included in the study.
Black women were found to face a significantly higher risk of suffering homicide either during pregnancy or right after then they were during other times, with those under 25 being at most risk.
Girls age ten through 19 were also six times likely to be murdered when they were, or directly after, pregnancy when compared to others – with the risk increasing two-fold among black girls of that age.
Researchers also found that two-thirds of the homicides occurred at home, with more than half involving a firearm.
Interestingly, the research team found no difference homicide rates in pregnant and postpartum white women compared to other white women who were not pregnant.
The study is one of the first of its kind, as many death certificates did not denote that a person was either pregnancy or recently gave birth until fairly recently.
In 2003, the NCHS began to require states to denote someone’s pregnancy status on their certificate when they died.
Around two-thirds of pregnant, or recently pregnant, women who are murdered were killed at home. The FBI reports a 30% increase in murders in 2020, the largest single year increase ever, and many cities have suffered from upticks of violent crime so far this year (file photo)
There was a long lag between that order going into effect and states actually making the change, though, and it was not until the 2010s where much of this data was available.
Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not publish annual maternal mortality data from 2007 to 2020, as the agency just did not have an accessible way to gather it.
While the study does not include data from 2020, the year where Covid arrived in America saw the largest surge in homicides recorded.
Official FBI data finds that there were 21,570 homicides in 2020, up near 30 percent from 2019, though violent crime figures are still lower now than they were at their peak in the 1990s.
One expert blames civil unrest caused by the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, and instability caused by the pandemic for last years crime wave.
He also said police may have ‘pulled back’ due to the protests, and that community-police relationships were likely hurt after the violent summer.
Many major American cities are still feeling that wave, and are recording higher rates of many violent crimes this year than they were the last.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk