Once again the state of Louisiana is at the top of a bottom feeder list. It's really hard to believe that with all the good people that we all know that our state can also be home to the lowest of the low. I supposed it's just a sign of the times that we are living in. A time when respect for life, any life, is at an all time low.

A study recently released by the Violence Policy Center suggests that our state is number four nationwide on a very disturbing list. That list is the VPC's annual report on violence toward women and Louisiana ranks number four on the list of states where women are murdered by men.Unfortunately it's not a new story. Our state has been in the top ten for the past five years.

Kristen Rand is the Legislative Director of the Violence Policy Center and she told the Louisiana Radio Network that Louisiana ranks so high because of two major factors.

In many instances there is a history of domestic abuse and we have a ready access to firearms.

The study showed that nationwide 94% of victims were killed by someone they knew. In most cases the weapon of choice was a gun. Most of the crimes started out as arguments that escalated into violence. Domestic abuse plays a large part in Louisiana's shameful statistics.

Since we know about the problem, what can we do about it? Rand told reporters that it's up to us to urge legislators to take a tougher stand on domestic violence. There also needs to be restrictions placed on gun ownership by those that have been convicted of domestic abuse crimes. She also said that education would play a large part in correcting the problem.

And really devoting resources to educate women and to give them resources to escape abusive situations.

According to the Violence Policy Center report South Carolina topped the list of states where women were killed by men, followed by Alaska, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Nevada.