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How many domestic violence deaths occur in North Carolina?

Domestic violence fatalities are defined as murders which involve personal relationships between offenders and victims. According to the North Carolina Department of Justice website, 108 fatalities were tied to domestic violence in 2013 alone. Seven of these occurred in Mecklenburg County, in which Charlotte is located. Historically, this county has had some of the highest numbers of domestic violence murders.

The gender breakdown for 2013 fatalities was 62 females and 46 males. The state has been tracking information on these types of deaths since 2007. Annual data for domestic violence fatalities is available from 2008 to the present.

The 2013 statistics are in line with data for previous years, which are as follows:

  • 2012 – 122 fatalities; 78 female, 44 male  
  • 2011 – 106 fatalities; 68 female; 38 male  
  • 2010 – 107 fatalities; 70 female, 37 male  
  • 2009 – 99 fatalities; 61 female, 39 male 
  • 2008 – 137 fatalities; 99 female, 32 male

In nearly 60 percent of 2013’s domestic violence deaths, the victim and offender were former or current members of the same household. This was the most common relationship between victims and offenders. The second most common relationship involved parties of the opposite sex who had lived together or were living together at the time of the death.

A common trend in all of these years’ reports is that very few of the victims had sought protective orders against their aggressors. In 2013, five victims had held such orders at one time. Only three of these five victims had a current order at the time of their murders. The report does not note whether an increase in such orders may play a preventive role in domestic violence fatalities.  

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