Monday, January 3, 2005

Not Just Laci

The Washington Post ran a really fascinating article on the prevalence of new or expectant mothers dying violently. Written by Donna St. George, thearticle is a result of a year-long investigation by the Post. At first, the study only focused on Maryland, where they found that homicide was the leading cause of death for pregnant or recently pregnant women (20%). The findings prompted the team to do a more extensive study of 1367 killings since 1990.

Among the more alarming things:
In the DC area alone, three pregnant women were killed in the final seven weeks of 2004.

Three weeks after Laci Peterson disappeared, an 18-year-old woman 80 miles away was shot in the head by her boyfriend as she walked home from the grocery store. Fatherhood, he believed, would get in the way of his music career.

For more than 70% of abused women, pregnancy does nothing to stem the abuse. For 27% of abused women, the abuse actually starts during pregnancy.

51% of the victims in the study were black, 46% white. 12% of the victims were identified as Hispanic, but could be of any race.

42% of the victims had less than a high school education. 36% were high school graduates. 22% had at least some college education.

Most women were killed by the men by whom they were pregnant.

It just gives you something to think about. As horrible as what happened to Laci Peterson was, hers was by no means an isolated case.

The article can be found here