The Washington Times reports that MPD attributes an increase in the number of 2014 homicides to domestic violence killings, a number that includes the deaths of more than 10 women. The women represent just over 20 percent of the city’s homicide victims so far.
MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said that “high-visibility” tactics used to curb other crimes don’t prevent domestic violence effectively:
“A lot of these women were in violent relationships,” Chief Lanier said of the victims.
In past years, the police department’s partnerships with nonprofit and community groups that specialize in domestic violence have helped combat domestic deaths, Chief Lanier said.
For instance, advocates have worked with responding police officers to conduct lethality assessments — a series of questions meant to determine the level of danger a domestic violence victim faces. Those thought to be at increased risk of violence are referred to shelters and other services.
But the programs can go only so far, Chief Lanier said.
“We’ve kind of tapped out the resources,” she said. “We’ve expanded as far as we can given the resources they have.”
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