Minnesota Coalition of Battered Women Femicide Report Released
The Minnesota Coalition of Battered Women has released their 2016 report of domestic violence homicides in Minnesota.
They report at least 18 women died from domestic violence last year and three family members, friends and interveners were murdered.
MCBW has published the Femicide Report over the past 28 years, tracking homicides where the known or suspected perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner or the result of domestic violence. Half of the deaths were the result of gunshots.
The report has pictures of all the victims, so even though it contains graphs and statistics, the real emphasis is loss of life. Dreams ended, the simple wish to have a safe existence over.
The 44-page report gives some details about each case, including the December 23, 2016, shooting of Barbara Larsen of Faribault at her workplace.
Larsen's ex-husband was a retired police officer and the MCBW report states, "Victims whose abusers are in law enforcement experience unique challenges and are unlikely to look to the criminal justice system for protection and safety. Victims in officer involved domestic violence cases are often hesitant to report the abuse out of fear that there will be no response, that responding officers will support their abuser, or their abuser will gain information to use against them. Abusers who have increased knowledge of the criminal justice system and access to tools to monitor or harm the victim can use their expertise to assert power and control over their victim. Additionally law enforcement might find themselves in the challenging position of responding to a call for help by a colleague or supervisor's victim."
MCBW recommends that, "police departments routinely screen new and existing employees for records of domestic violence, including in civil court protective orders and law enforcement agencies adopt and enforce officer involved domestic violence policies that take into account the conflict of interest and the unique challenges of such cases, looking at partnering with outside agencies for investigation, providing support to victims, implementing practices that 'wall off' information from suspects and providing employee supports to change behaviors."
In 2015, the Femicide Report counted 34 deaths in the state caused by domestic violence.