Guilford County reported 11 domestic violence homicides last year, followed by Mecklenburg County with nine, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Monday. Wake and Buncombe counties each reported eight domestic violence homicides, while Durham County reported six and Harnett County had five.
Sixty-two victims were female and 46 were male. The homicides were committed by 88 men and 27 women.
Any drop in homicides is a hopeful sign, but domestic violence remains a problem across North Carolina, Cooper and advocates said in a news release.
Domestic violence centers must turn away some victims because of a shortage of resources, said Debra Mangum, interim executive director of the N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence. These centers assist victims with counseling, housing, legal advocacy and safety tools, such as protective orders and the address-confidentiality program.
Protective orders are court orders put in place to restrain defendants from further acts of violence against victims. The address-confidentiality program helps victims keep their addresses shielded from abusers by having their mail sent to a different address so it can be forwarded to the victim's home address. Almost 1,000 victims and dependents are enrolled in the program, which began in 2003.
Five of the victims had taken out protective orders, and three of those were current when the victims were slain, Cooper said. One offender was reported to be on pretrial release for a domestic violence crime when the victim was killed.