On Tuesday, the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women released its annual Femicide Report, which states that 37 Minnesotans who died last year were victims of domestic violence, more than double the deaths in 2012.
The most recent release marks the 25th the MCBW has issued since 1989 as a means of documenting intimate partner homicides in the state, and the 36-page report includes an overview of each of the 37 known homicides attributed to domestic violence.
This year's report details a startling increase in deaths from the year 2012, when a total of 18 deaths in Minnesota were attributed to domestic violence. In that year's report, 14 women, one man and three friends and family members were identified as victims.
In 2013, at least 24 women were murdered by a current or former intimate partner, and at least seven men were killed by their significant other. Additionally, at least six friends and family members were murdered and 12 children were orphaned by the crimes.
In addition to reviewing the cases of the victims, the MCBW also offered a policy analysis as well as recommendations for legislative and community response to the issue of domestic violence.
"Domestic violence homicides in 2013 heightened public concern and mobilized Minnesotans to action," said Rebekah Moses, program manager in public policy.
That briefing included perspectives offered by the following officials regarding their experiences with the survivors of domestic violence and the challenges that current laws do not address:
- Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell
- Deb Lustig, criminal justice coordinator at the Hope Center in Faribault
The group is also promoting two pieces of legislation that have been filed. One would give victims of domestic violence the right to be notified of a convicted offender's location after release from custody. The second would make it easier for law enforcement officers to arrest perpetrators who flee before police arrive.
The authors and co-authors of those bills are:
- Sen. Vicki Jensen (D)
- Sen. David Tomassoni (D)
- Sen. Susan Kent (D)
- Rep. Barb Yarusso (D)
- Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D)
- Rep. Tony Cornish (R)
- Rep. Matt Dean (R)
- Rep. Dan Schoen (D)
- Rep. Laurie Halverson (D)