Homicide accounts for just 3.7% of deaths for women aged 20 to 44, but studies have shown that among women who are pregnant or gave birth in the previous year, that rate is anywhere from two to five times higher.
Intimate partners are perpetrators in two-thirds of the murders. Victims are predominantly younger and people of color.
Experts speculate that the stresses of pregnancy and parenting, coupled with feelings of helplessness, can drive partners of pregnant or postpartum women to resentment and rage. While this rarely prompts first-time partner violence, it can spur already-abusive partners to more extreme, or even deadly, actions.