VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – A shocking statistic from the BC Coroners Service – many women are sleeping with the enemy.

A new report found a third of women who are murdered, are killed by their so-called partners – and that’s eight times the rate of men.

“Five per cent of the intimate partner homicides were men. [Over 36 per cent] of female homicide deaths are women,” explains Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe.

“People think about homicides as the result of strangers or aggressive circumstances beyond our control. Sadly, I don’t think we like to think that we’re more at risk from the people that reportedly love us than we are from anyone else,” she warns. “Women are at risk, sadly, at relationship breakups. [They] are a very dangerous time for women.”

And Lapointe adds it can happen at any age. “Women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, elderly women are still victims of intimate partner violence.”

The most common way of death among women and men killed by partners was stabbing.

In nine years of study from 2003-2011, there were 120 murders defined as intimate partner violence. The coroner defines it as, “intentional harm or injury inflicted by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend or other romantic partner of the victim. A victim of IPV may include the current or former partner of the assailant, or a child or other person who died in an incident targeting the assailant’s partner.”

The rate was highest in Northern BC and individuals of Aboriginal ancestry were over-represented in the report.

There were no cases of partner-related deaths among same-sex couples.