The number of women killed by their partners or husbands, known as "intimate femicide", has increased over the last few years to become the leading cause of female homicide in South Africa according to a new report released by the Medical Research Council (MRC).
Femicide refers to female homicides or intimate female homicides.
"In South Africa, every one to two women killed, are killed by her partner," News24 quoted MRC gender and health researcher Naeemah Abrahams, as saying.
The study also showed that rape homicides, where evidence of being raped was present, had proportionately increased.
Abrahams said police data indicated homicides had decreased in South Africa in last 10 years. However, a comparison of all the figures indicated that intimacy homicides declined less.
Abrahams said rape homicides in South Africa had increased in the event of a non-partner.
Abrahams said the good news related to a significant decrease in firearms used in female homicides in 2009. She said there was very strong evidence that South Africa's firearm control legislation, implemented in 2000, might have had a positive impact.
The report, however, indicates that the number of woman killed by strangulation, stabbing or blunt force stayed the same.
Abrahams said the study showed that South Africa had to really work at the prevention of gender violence against women and children.
Gun Free SA chairperson Alan Storey said the study showed that the Firearms Control Act of 2000 had saved more than 800 women's lives a year.
The number of women shot and killed almost halved from 32 percent in 1999 to 17 percent in 2009.