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State averages 14 domestic homicides a year

By SUSAN HAIGH Associated Press

Publication: The Day

Published July 30. 2014 4:00AM

Hartford - A new report released Tuesday shows Connecticut averaged about 14 domestic violence-related homicides each year between 2000 and 2012.

The Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, which examined the data, determined 162 of the victims were female and 26 were male. Most of the intimate partner perpetrators, 166, were male. Twenty-two were female.

"Every single case of domestic violence is one too many certainly. It's discouraging to see there does not seem to be a lessening of the problem," said Karen Jarmoc, the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. So far, in 2014, there have been 10 intimate partner homicides. That's one more than last year's nine.

CCADV released findings and recommendations from the fatality review committee at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. In the report, the group calls for promoting bystander intervention techniques as well as creating a new state panel to evaluate the response of the criminal justice system to violations of restraining and protective orders.

"An ongoing issue that the committee continues to see in cases reviewed is violations of civil restraining and criminal protective orders issued by the courts," according to the report. "The manner in which the system responds to these violations can have an extremely positive or profoundly negative impact on both the victim and the offender."

Michael Lawlor, the state's undersecretary of criminal justice policy, said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his administration believe these homicides are preventable and want "everyone in the criminal justice community to recognize what the warning signs are and what to do about them."

Other recommendations include CCADV seeking state funding for a biennial, statewide public awareness campaign and developing a mobile website with contact information for the state's 18 domestic violence organizations that can be accessed on smartphones and tablets.

The report closely examines 2012, when there were 11 homicides and 171 near-fatal incidents resulting in serious injuries. The data are two years old because the committee must wait until cases are adjudicated.

Jarmoc said this marks the first year the group has compiled data about the near-fatal incidents.

"There are numerous, numerous cases of near-deaths and it's really critical we take a look at those cases to understand what those circumstances are," she said, adding how the large number highlights what can happen when physical violence escalates.

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