More than 100 people lost their life to domestic violence

Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - More than 100 people in North Carolina lost their lives in domestic violence murders in 2008.

Law enforcement reported 131 domestic violence murders in the state.  Of those murders, 99 of the victims were female and 32 were male.

103 males and 25 females committed the murders.  According to officials, the total number of offenders is less than 131 because some had more than one victim.

"We know the terrible physical and emotional toll domestic violence inflicts on families, but these numbers show that it is too often deadly as well," said Attorney General Roy Cooper in a statement. "Just one life lost to domestic violence is one too many, so we must look for even better ways to prevent these heartbreaking crimes."

A new state law requires law enforcement agencies to report domestic violence related homicides to the State Bureau of Investigation annually.

"This information provides a new resource to assist in the development of policies and legislation to combat domestic violence," said Rita Anita Linger, executive director of the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence in a statement.

According to authorities, of the 131 domestic violence murders in 2008, only 8 victims had taken out protective orders and only 3 were current when the victims were murdered.

"I believe domestic violence deaths can be reduced with protective orders," said.Cooper in a statement.  "Putting an order in place against an abuser can be a critical part of a victim's personal safety plan, and people living with domestic violence need to know that protective orders are available."

Cooper said he would like to see a pilot program set up, requiring supervised probation for domestic violence offenders, to determine if supervised probation can help stop abuse.

"Supervised probation could provide a check on violent abusers and possibly save lives.  Our Address Confidentiality Program is another tool that can help people who've escaped an abusive relationship stay safe," said Cooper in a statement.

The Address Confidentiality Program allows victims who move to escape abuse by having their first-class mail sent to an address chosen by the Attorney General's office, and then forwarded to the victims' confidential home address.

People can also use the substitute address to register to vote, get a driver license, or sign up for utilities like water and electricity.

According to the Attorney Generals office, a total of 572 participants have enrolled in the Address Confidentiality Program since it started in 2003.

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