Domestic violence fatalities sky rocket, Northeast Ohio not immune

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 7:20 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio’s domestic violence fatalities have sky-rocketed. It’s a crisis that has hit home in Northeast Ohio.

In “Cuyahoga County, we had 21 adult fatalities and two child fatalities, so that’s one of the higher numbers of course,” said Micaela Deming, the policy director and staff attorney at the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

Deming is sounding the alarm about the startling domestic violence fatality statistics she’s seen.

The Ohio Domestic Violence Network said its seen domestic violence fatalities increase 20% from last year and 62% over the last two years.

Deming points to the pandemic as one of the reasons why this is happening.

“If we look at the past year, we had a lot of people out of work, we had a lot of economic instability, and we had the pandemic which changed the way people live and work and have access to the outside world,” said Deming.

However, with or without the pandemic Deming feels there’s another underlying issue that needs to be stopped.

“We had a number of cases in the past year where we had a domestic violence offender or alleged offender who was already involved in the court system,” said Deming.

That means that offender a pending charge related to domestic violence on the record and they were waiting for a court date or had pretrial release orders already in place,” she said. “And yet they still had access to their victims and they were still ultimately in an incident where death occurred.”

That’s why Deming is urging lawmakers to make changes to two pieces of pending legislation that both require domestic violence misdemeanants to be released pre-trial.

House Bill 315 and Senate Bill 182 have both been referred to committee, according to the Ohio Legislature website.

“We are really encouraging our legislators and the community to look to those bills to see how we can improve safety,” said Deming.

Deming said if you know someone who’s in a domestic violence situation look to see if they are isolating themselves. If so, the best thing to do is to continue to be available to them so that they have someone to turn to.

Victims are encouraged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline number which is: 1-800-799-SAFE

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