What is femicide?

What is femicide?

Female homicide, or the murder of women, is what is known as “femicide.” Some scholars argue that the term should only refer to gender-biased killings while others include that categorization in the term “gendercide.”

In 2009, there were 13,636 victims of homicide in the United States. The FBI has found that approximately three times as many men as women are killed in homicides. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene analyzed data from homicides across the city and found several key trends specifically related to femicides. From the data, we learn that many femicides occur indoors and inside the victim’s home. There is also a higher rate of homicide by current and former intimate partners in women in comparison to men.

Femicides have been on a steady decline in New York City. Still, many are related to incidents of domestic violence. Within the city, femicides tend to be concentrated in the Bronx and Brooklyn and victims are more likely to be black or Hispanic than white or Asian.

female homicide

Femicides annually in New York City Source: NYC Department of Health


Even though the rates of femicide have fallen city-wide, the rates of intimate partner-perpetrated femicide have remained relatively steady. Between 2007 and 2009, 46% of femicides were intimate partner perpetrated. While it is important that the overall rate of femicide in New York City has decreased, the Department of Health report notes that public health outreach has not affected intimate partner femicide rates, which is particularly common among younger women. Perhaps further work and effort will be able to push down this rate further. In the meantime, intimate partners and spouses should attempt to work together and seek help when needed.

Homicide is a crime, and its particular offenses range from an A-I felony (murder in the first degree, aggravated murder, and murder in the second degree) to an E Felony (criminally negligent homicide). All types of homicide crimes, including abortion crimes and vehicular homicide crimes, are taken very seriously by the criminal justice system and one convicted of homicide can face stiff penalties. If you have been accused of a crime related to murder or homicide, then you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Julie Rendelman is a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor with over 20 years of experience. She headed the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s homicide bureau and understands that such an allegation is serious and works had to protect the rights of her clients. Ms.Rendelman offers free consultations and can be reached at 212-951-1232. Visit www.RendelmanLaw.com to learn more about Ms. Rendelman’s experience.