Office of the Attorney General
AG Conway and Statewide Review Committee Release Domestic Violence Report
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Victims Advocacy, along with University of Kentucky professor TK Logan and fellow members of the Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, today released the Domestic Violence Special Report: Kentucky 2010 Homicides. This report, which examines nearly three dozen intimate partner-related homicide cases that occurred in Kentucky in 2010, is part of a multifaceted approach by Attorney General Conway and the Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee to prevent domestic violence-related deaths in the Commonwealth.
“This report helps provide a clearer picture of the extent and nature of domestic violence-related deaths in Kentucky and is a first step toward understanding how to better identify these cases,” Attorney General Conway said. “I am confident that the information contained in the report will provide valuable information to guide the future work of the committee and help advance our mission of preventing future domestic violence-related deaths and preserving the safety of victims in Kentucky.”
In August 2011, Attorney General Conway convened Kentucky’s first statewide Summit on Domestic Violence Fatalities. This summit brought together experts from across the Commonwealth forming the Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. As one of their first priorities, committee members collected information about Kentucky’s domestic violence-related deaths from the previous year, resulting in the Domestic Violence Special Report: Kentucky 2010 Homicides.
According to the report, 35 intimate partner-related homicides cases were identified in 25 Kentucky counties in 2010. The report showed that the majority of victims were female (75.7 percent) while the majority of offenders were male (74.3 percent). The vast majority of these cases were single-victim homicides (94 percent). Overall, 37 percent of the 35 cases were classified as homicide-suicides. Additionally, the report determined that a firearm was the weapon most frequently used in the homicide cases examined.
The report also showed that two out of three victims and offenders were married or living together at the time of the homicide and that the homicide occurred most frequently at the couple’s shared residence (45.7 percent). In addition, the report concluded that one in four intimate partner-related homicide cases had some form of a domestic violence-related civil or criminal justice activity, such as a protective order or domestic-violence related call to police, within the year prior to the homicide. One in nine cases had some form of a domestic violence-related civil or criminal justice activity within 30 days of the homicide.
Additionally, the Domestic Violence Special Report showed that partner violence-related homicides are preventable, yet there has not been a decline in the overall number of deaths over time in Kentucky. The report established that a systematic and statewide oversight program is needed to better understand the scope of the problem and that tracking case information on a statewide basis would highlight patterns and provide information that may help protect victims.
“This report accomplishes one of the initial goals of the committee,” said Dr. TK Logan, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky who prepared the report for the Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. “The report helps establish procedures and limitations in identifying intimate partner-related homicides in Kentucky and analyzes key characteristics of these cases. More importantly, the statistics show that intimate partner-related homicides are not declining over time in Kentucky and that gun violence plays a significant role in these homicides.”
The intimate partner-related homicide cases were identified through the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner and media articles collected by the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association. Case and victim-specific characteristics were collected through a survey, which was completed by Commonwealth’s Attorneys and law enforcement offices in the counties where the deaths occurred.
The Domestic Violence Special Report: Kentucky 2010 Homicides publication is part of the Office of the Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Data Report & Summation, which provides information on the history of domestic violence laws and services in Kentucky; recent legislative changes made in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse and victim rights; and a guide to developing local fatality review teams in Kentucky communities.
A copy of both reports is available here.
According to the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, one in three women in the state will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime and more than three women are killed every day in the U.S. at the hands of their boyfriends or husbands. Additionally, statistics show that one in three women and 5 percent of men across the country have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a current or former partner or spouse.
Assisting Crime Victims Across the Commonwealth
General Conway’s Office of Victims Advocacy provided resource referrals to more than 4,000 victims, victim advocates, and victim service providers in 2013. The Office of Victims Advocacy also trained more than 700 victim advocates, prosecutors, and law enforcement through various initiatives, including the annual Victims Assistance Conference.
Additionally, the Office of Victims Advocacy administers and monitors the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board, which funds child sexual abuse prevention programs and oversees the tax check-off and license plate projects for the Child Victims’ Trust Fund.
You can follow Attorney General Conway on Twitter @kyoag, visit the Attorney General’s Facebook page or view videos on our YouTube channel.