Wednesday, March 3, 2010

GA Ranks 15th in DV Homicides

A new report ranks Georgia 15th in the nation for killings of women by men in single-victim homicides, most of them murders connected with domestic violence.

The sixth annual report conducted by the Violence Policy Center with help from two prominent Georgia advocacy groups said conditions had improved from three years ago, when the state was ranked seventh for such homicides.

Still, the state's domestic violence organizations responded to over 72,000 incidents last year. In the last seven years, 835 Georgians died because of domestic violence, according to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, one of the groups involved in the report.

"Seventy five percent of those murders happen when the victim tries to leave the relationship," said Kirsten Rambo, the executive director of the Commission. "These deaths are preventable when communities work together," she said.

The 2009 Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report was highlighted at a news conference today that included House Speaker David Ralston. The Republic state representative from Blue Ridge lamented the toll of domestic violence.

It's unclear how much help the government can provide at a time when the budget is shrinking though. And money and coordination are needed even more in a down economy, Rambo said.

The bad economy exacerbates the problem for women who are stuck in abusive relationships, she said. Some lack a job or the money to move away, and the waiting lists at shelters have grown longer.

"In tough economic times," Rambo said, "victims of domestic violence have much fewer options for getting out and getting safe."
If you or someone you know is experiencing verbal, financial, sexual, or physical abuse, help is available for you whether or not you choose to leave that relationship. In the Atlanta area, call our hotline at 404-688-9436. Elsewhere, call the Georgia statewide hotline at 1-800-334-2836 or the national DV hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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