According to the Columbus Police Department, there have been 12 domestic violence-related homicides this year. There were seven of them for the whole of last year.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Homicides related to domestic violence account for 20% of all homicides in the city of Columbus this year.

“Every day we get calls from someone saying my abuser is threatening to hurt me,” said Lillian Howard, director of clinical and support services at Lutheran Social Services Choices.

Howard wasn’t surprised to learn that the city of Columbus has had more domestic violence-related homicides this year than all of last year. According to the Columbus Police Department, there have been 12 this year and seven all of last year.

“I wasn’t. Part of that is because we get calls from people who are always in dangerous situations,” Howard said.

Two of those murders happened last weekend.

At a press conference on violence, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called for new gun laws.

“If we had red flag laws, those people who were targeted by abusers would be able to seek help. Could they have stopped each of these domestic violence murders? Probably not. If it made a difference to one family, it’s worth fighting for,” Ginter said.

Howard said her nonprofit has many ways to help victims of intimate domestic violence, from temporary housing to child care assistance and more. She said figuring out why this happens is a more difficult question.

“I understand that there is an increase in violence in society that everyone hears about, but keep in mind that domestic violence happens all the time, especially for the people we work with, which is intimate partner violence.” , she said.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the LSS CHOICES 24/7 hotline at 614-224-4663.

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