Crime & Courts

NC domestic violence homicides declined in 2013

Domestic violence claimed 108 lives in North Carolina in 2013, according to a report released by the state Department of Justice on Monday.

That’s 14 fewer domestic violence homicides than the year before. That coincides with a 6.9 percent drop in all homicides nationwide during the first six months of 2013, according to the FBI. Final North Carolina crime statistics for 2013 will be available later this year.

A homicide is considered an act of domestic violence if the suspect and victim are related to each other; are or have been in a relationship; are or have lived with each other; or have a child or grandchild in common.

Sixty-two of the domestic violence homicide victims were girls or women, while 46 were boys or men. Of the suspected killers, 88 were male, and 27 were female.

The report indicates that court orders put in place to restrain suspected abusers from acts of violence are not foolproof. Five of the 108 victims had taken out protective orders, and three of the protective orders were current when the victims were killed. In addition, one of the suspects was reported to be on pre-trial release for a domestic violence crime when the homicide was committed.

Since 2007, state law has required county law enforcement agencies to submit reports on domestic violence homicides. The number peaked at 137 in 2008 and hit a low of 99 in 2009.

Guilford County reported the highest number of domestic violence homicides last year with 11, followed by Mecklenburg County with nine and Wake and Buncombe counties with 8 each. Durham County ranked fourth with six domestic violence homicides, and Harnett County ranked fifth with five.