Campus at Night

The tree sits in the darkness on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, behind Memorial Tower on Tower Drive in Baton Rouge, La.

As a woman, I’ve grown to fear the world around me due to the amount of violence men have inflicted on women through malicious acts of brutality.

The common man always seems to wonder why women go to the bathroom in groups and why they can’t walk alone at night. Well, here’s the answer: men. 

Though not all men’s life goals are to inflict pain on a stranger or their romantic partner, enough men are causing this violence to make women fear doing simple tasks, including walking and going to the bathroom alone. This fear also includes knowing Louisiana’s horrific homicide rates. 

The national murder rate is 6.5 murders per 100,000 people, according to FBI data. Louisiana’s murder rate is 12.4 murders per 100,000 people.

This statistic alone is terrifying, considering that Louisiana’s murder rate is nearly double the nation’s average. These statistics are even more frightening for young college students at LSU, who’ve already expressed concern when walking through dark parking lots at night.

But for women, these bad numbers turn worse. Louisiana has the fifth highest number of female murder victims, or femicides, in the nation. A report by the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence found “Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men remains 85% higher than the national average, at 2.18 homicides per 100,000 women.” Firearms killed 66% of female victims, according to the report.

Not only are women murdered at an alarming rate in Louisiana, but many of them are pregnant or new moms. Tulane University researchers found that during 2016 and 2017, women who were pregnant or within a year of childbirth had “a mortality rate from homicide was 12.9 murders per 100,000 live births.” That’s higher than Louisiana’s overall murder rate and almost twice the general murder rate of the country.

Female victims are often harmed by their significant others. 

In 2015, Sophia Rahman, a writer at Vice, wrote about the minds of men who murdered women. University of Manchester criminologist Russell Dobash said in an interview that men tended to kill their romantic partners due to “sexual jealousy.”

“What generally happens is he wants the woman and thinks she's his, so he tries to get her back,” he said. “Often, he tries cajoling her or, ironically, beating her up. In these cases, eventually they realize she won't come back and change the project to annihilating her.”

The act of murder, especially against someone you’re in a relationship with, is genuinely despicable. It’s disheartening to see anyone in a relationship want to harm their partner who they claim to “love.” Violence certainly isn’t love.

Although there’s no single reason for the number of homicides throughout the state, the Ambeau Law Firm argues that some causes could be because of high levels of poverty and poor education. The law firm noted many high school students don’t graduate and that funding on education has frozen for nearly a decade, which is atrocious. 

As Louisiana stalls on solving the root issues of crime, headlines of countless deaths of women around the state pile high.

Women like Veronique Allen, who the police say was shot inside her mother’s Bogalusa home in August while getting her hair done, according to WDSU News. A male suspect was arrested in November in connection to Allen’s killing. Her case reflects a sad reality that even in a place that should be safe, danger can strike. 

In the end, it would be a fantasy to eliminate homicides, including those that target women. However, some things can be done to limit the crimes in Louisiana and other states. 

One of the most important things to do is to educate people and make them see these vile statistics to truly understand the depth of female homicides. 

All female victims should feel safe enough to have a forum to express themselves with their communities and police officials. Women should be able to vocalize their concerns about the crimes in their areas to get people’s attention and come to a solution for their safety. This includes women in the LSU community, because these alarming trends of violence don’t stop when you enter campus. 

And I would love for male perpetrators to step into a woman’s shoes and try to understand the level of terror they cause for our future romantic relationships and daily lives. I think a new perspective would change their actions.

Femicides cut short the lives of a horrifying number of women around the state, leaving many homes without mothers, sisters, nieces, grandmas and cousins. This sad reality isn’t one we have to accept.

Taylor Hamilton is an 18-year-old mass communication freshman from Tallahassee, Florida.

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