New Report Sheds Light on Fatal Cases of Intimate and Family Violence in Virginia

Jan 26, 2010

Family and intimate-partner homicide is a significant threat to Virginians, according to a new report by the state Department of the Health. It is the first report to analyze fatal cases of intimate-partner and family violence in the state over a nine-year period.

About one in three homicides that occurred between 1999 and 2007 were related to family or intimate-partner discord or violence, the report finds, and one out of five such homicides was a homicide-suicide, where the killer also killed him or herself after committing the crime.

Family and intimate-partner homicide affects people of all backgrounds, but some populations are especially vulnerable to these crimes, the report found. African Americans and infants are most vulnerable to all types of family and intimate-partner homicides, and women are most vulnerable to intimate-partner homicide.

“This report represents a milestone in our understanding of fatal domestic violence in Virginia,” Virginia’s Chief Medical Examiner Leah Bush, M.S., M.D. said in a statement. “Public health officials and policy developers have the tools needed to understand how the rate of domestic violence has changed over time. This is vital to creating and implementing violence prevention strategies, an important mission for the Virginia Department of Health.”

This report used data from 1,232 family and intimate-partner homicides in Virginia between 1999 and 2007. Data was collected by the Family and Intimate Partner Homicide Surveillance Program, which began in 1999.

Click here to read the full report.

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