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Report: 28 Minnesotans were murdered as result of domestic violence

The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women recently released the 2010 Minnesota Femicide Report. It documents the number of women and children murdered in 2010 as a result of domestic violence and child abuse. Someplace Safe in Alexandria provide...

The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women recently released the 2010 Minnesota Femicide Report.

It documents the number of women and children murdered in 2010 as a result of domestic violence and child abuse. Someplace Safe in Alexandria provided the newspaper with a copy of the report.

According to ThaoMee Xiong, the coalition's public policy specialist, 28 Minnesotans were murdered in 2010 as a result of domestic violence. Other findings:

  •  At least 15 women were murdered by an intimate partner.
  •  At least two men were murdered by their intimate partners.
  •  At least seven children younger than the age of 18 were murdered by a family member.
  •  Four friends, family members or interveners were killed in a domestic violence-related situation.

The coalition's analysis of the circumstances where 15 women were murdered found red flags for batterer lethality, including:

  •  Victims' attempts to leave the abuser: 10 of 15 intimate partner femicides, 67 percent, occurred after the victim had left the relationship or while the victim was attempting to separate from the batterer.
  •  Threats to kill: Threats by the abuser to kill the victim were among the most reliable indicators of lethality. They are also the most often overlooked by the criminal and civil justice systems. At least three women had received prior threats to be killed and 47 percent of the women had experienced prior abuse that was known by the legal system or community. Three of the women had active "no contact" orders in place at the time of the homicide.
  •  Access to firearms: Sixty percent or 10 to 15 intimate partner femicides were committed with firearms.

"Safety has to be the starting point of policy considerations and decisions," said Xiong. "All too often, important decisions are made and policies enacted and then a 'special exception' is made for domestic violence - relegating safety to an afterthought. The stakes are too high for us to get it wrong. When policy mistakes are made, people can and do lose their lives."
Taking action

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An "Action Day to End Violence Against Women" will take place at the State Capitol Rotunda today, March 9. A rally starts at noon. It's a collective effort by six statewide coalitions to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of violence against women in Minnesota. Additionally, it's an opportunity for coalition members to encourage policy makers to pass legislation that protects and supports victims. For more details, go to the website, www.mncasa.org . Someplace Safe in Alexandria will have representatives attending the event and welcomes others from the community who want to support the effort.

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