Report: Domestic Violence Homicides on the Rise in Minnesota

At least 34 people were killed in Minnesota last year as a result of domestic violence, according to a new report by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. 

The number is a significant increase from 2014, where 23 people were killed. 

According to the Femicide Report, at least 22 women, 9 friends or family members, and three men lost their lives to domestic violence. 

The report focused on four factors in the killings. 

The first was the victim’s attempt to leave the abuser.  The report states that the risks of harm increases when the victim attempts to leave because the perpetrators step up efforts to control or intimidate the victim.  At least 8 of the 22 women killed last year had left or attempted to leave their abuser. 

The second is previous threats to kill the victim.  According to the report, threats by the abuser to kill the victim are among the most reliable indicators of lethality and are the most often overlooked by the criminal and civil justice system.  At least three women who died last year had their lives threatened. 

Another factor is access to firearms.  Half of those killed in 2015 died after being shot.  Firearms are the weapon of choice in domestic violence homicides.   The Femicide Report states that possession of a gun by an abuser increases the risk of death. 

The last is the perpetrators history of violence.  Of the 22 women killed, 13 of their perpetrators had a history of domestic violence related charges.  The abusers had a total of 76 domestic violence-related charges against them.  Only 19 of the charges resulted in convictions. 

Categories: Crime-imported, News-imported, Police-imported