Louisiana has the second-highest rate of women who were murdered by men in the country according to the Violence Policy Center.

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand says there were a shocking number of these murders in the Bayou State in 2017, which is the latest year for which data is available from the FBI.

“There were 63 women killed in single victim, single offender homicide incidents. That is a rate of 2.6 per 100,000.”

The national rate was 1.29 male on female murders per 100,000 in 2017. 10 percent of those victims were under the age of 18 in Louisiana, versus six percent nationally.

The study shows 67 percent of the victims were shot, and over 90 percent of the women knew their killers. Rand says most of the murderers were husbands, ex-husbands, or boyfriends.

“Of the women who knew their killers, 60 percent were intimate partners of the killers. So, the crux of this problem is really a domestic violence-related problem.”

56 percent of those murders were directly linked back to a domestic argument.

Alaska tops the rankings at nearly 4 murders per 100,000, and the rest of the top ten is comprised of rural and southern states. Rand says there’s a number of factors at play.

“A culture of, in some of these states, how women are viewed combined with an attitude towards guns where guns are freely available. It’s also an enforcement issue.”

Rand says the best first step towards reducing these numbers would be proper funding for domestic violence shelters and organizations that provide support for women in abusive relationships.