Too many deaths by domestic violence

It almost sounds like a horrible “good news/bad news” joke. The good news in Minnesota on the domestic violence front last year, was that 18 people were killed as a result of domestic violence, the lowest number since 1992. The bad news – 18 people were killed as a result of domestic violence last year.

In 2011, 34 people were victims of domestic violence, according to a report this week from the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. From 1992 to 2011, the numbers ranged from 22 in 1996 to 52 in 1993.

The vast majority of the victims are women. Last year’s total included 14 women and one man killed by their spouses or partners, and three family members or friends.

“These deaths stand as a challenge for us to do better,” said Liz Richards, executive director of the coalition. “One death is a tragedy; 18 deaths is an outrage.”

Minnesota must strive to do better. We must examine the problem from the standpoint of law enforcement, to judicial action, to social services and counseling for victims to see if enough is being done to identify and deal with potential violence. If we can do better, we must.

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