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Domestic violence homicides increased last year in NC

Posted April 9, 2013

— The number of people in North Carolina killed as a result of domestic violence rose last year, according to numbers released Tuesday by the state Department of Justice.

Figures show 122 people – 78 female victims and 44 male victims – died in 2012, an increase from 106 in 2011. Seven had taken out protective orders against their accused killer at some point, and three of the protective orders were current when the victims were killed.

“I have great concern about this increase,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “It’s clear that North Carolina must do more to stop domestic abuse before it turns deadly.”

Wake County reported the highest number of domestic violence murders, 11; Mecklenburg County had eight and Guilford County had six.

Beth Froehling, executive director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said the information about the murders can help inform the development of policy and legislation to address the problem.

Cooper said the numbers underscore the need for more resources for victims, as well as better enforcement of domestic violence laws and increased education and awareness of current resources, such as protective orders and a statewide Address Confidentiality Program that shields addresses from abusers.

Tuesday's figures were released as lawmakers debate the Healthy Marriages Act, a bill moving through the North Carolina General Assembly that would require a two-year waiting period for a divorce as well as counseling on conflict-resolution and communication skills. In addition, couples would have to live under the same roof during that period.

Domestic violence expert Kim Gandy says the bill would put women in even more dangerous of abuse, because it makes no exception for cases of domestic violence.

"We already know that the most dangerous time for a battered woman is after she takes steps to leave the relationship," Gandy, who leads the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said at a news conference Tuesday by NC Women United. "That's when she's most likely to be injured or killed."

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba, has cited a high divorce rate and lax divorce laws for the bill.

Allran, however, has said, he might consider offering exceptions for domestic violence or abuse.

19 Comments

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  • COPs eye Apr 12, 8:19 a.m.

    ridiculous, 12 months is already to long

  • PracticalMagick Apr 11, 9:59 a.m.

    TWO years??? OMG, the 12 month wait was long enough...even with a "normal" spouse who isn't knocking you around, it's a long, LONG time. So now you want to extend it another year AND make them live under the same roof?

    Yeah...that makes a LOT of sense. Pass this and watch your stats skyrocket...and not in a nice way.

  • glarg Apr 10, 6:45 p.m.

    Amazing that the "solution" is more funding.

    Classify a few more fights as "domestics" and your funding goes up.

  • Paul M Apr 10, 4:26 p.m.

    God I love NC. The laws here make so much sence

  • Paul M Apr 10, 4:21 p.m.

    If the defender had a gun it would be the offender that we would be reading about instead

  • jgilchr Apr 10, 2:19 p.m.

    "The HMA is a load of garbage. I think it's time for people (men & women) to start choosing their partners more carefully. There is some personal responsibility with this." - no EBT 4 me

    Of course it is absolutely your fault if you get beaten in a relationship. This makes perfect sense.

  • jgilchr Apr 10, 2:18 p.m.

    Good thing survivors will have to wait an extra year to divorce their abusers. Way to go NCGA!

  • dldobbins Apr 10, 1:05 p.m.

    North Carolina Legislators might be more interested in making that divorce waiting period a shorter time frame if it meant their loved one(son, daughter, grandchild)was enduring physical and mental abuse by a nut job.

  • dldobbins Apr 10, 1:01 p.m.

    It has been my experience that even if your spouse isn't well-connected and doesn't have loads of money you and your children still have to put up with the abuse. The law pretty much ties the hands of law enforcement who come to domestic violence calls. One spouse can beat the other one, destroy the house and everyone's belongings in the house and make their life an enduring nightmare and police officers can not put them out of the house. The only thing they can do is remove those who wish to leave and get them to another place. However, this doesn't prevent the controlling spouse to harass or intimidate the other one. They can visit you on your job, the kids school, the mall, the grocery store and even wherever you vacate to and make your life a living nightmare. Don't give me a protective order because that is just a piece of paper and we have already seen that doesn't always work.

  • dollibug Apr 10, 12:08 p.m.

    Domestic violence Protection Orders (50 B) should be provided to BOTH PARTIES. This is just one *easy fix* to make sure that a 50 B is not a ticket to *abuse the system*. There should be NO CONTACT between both parties, so that one party can not contact the other one and harass, intimidate or whatever they care to do. Only until a person is directly involved or knows someone who is directly involved can this be understood. And it is LAW that there MUST BE SOME SORT OF PROOF OF A *RELATIONSHIP* between the 2 parties - what happens when a person LIES and gets a *protection order* without probable cause? For any lunatic who does this it allows them a *ticket* to pick up the telephone and get the other party arrested on anything. If they LIE the first time to get it, they will continue to LIE about everything else. So sad that *JUDGES* take the word of people who lie, without any SOLID PROOF. It happens though.

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