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Oklahoma second in nation for murders of women by men

Matt Trotter

Oklahoma is yet again one of the worst states for men murdering women. This week a national nonprofit said Oklahoma ranks second in the nation for that particular statistic.

Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center says Oklahoma consistently ranks high for domestic homicide, and one reason is the state’s lax gun laws.

“We do know, and there are numerous studies supporting the conclusion that the access to firearms is what turns an argument into homicide,” said Rand.

Rand said if people want to own a gun to protect their freedoms, they should understand that gun is far more likely to be used in a suicide or against someone living in the house rather than an intruder.

“Understand the risks. To just say, ‘freedom,’ and not look beyond that, you’re not doing what you should be doing to protect your family.”

Rand also says another problem is a lack of resources for local helpers. Tracey Lyall of Tulsa’s Domestic Violence Intervention Services says DVIS sometimes has to turn people seeking help away.

“It’s pretty common. We’re often referring to other shelters,” said Lyall.

Lyall also said police and prosecutors who work with victims could use more money.

Advocates are available 24 hours a day at (918) 743-5763.

Before joining Public Radio Tulsa, Elizabeth Caldwell was a freelance reporter and a teacher. She holds a master's from Hollins University. Her audio work has appeared at KCRW, CBC's The World This Weekend, and The Missouri Review. She is a south Florida native.