DV Deaths Drop: Experts Say Programs Working, But More to Be Done

For release on September 24, 2019


James Gibbons-Shapiro
Assistant District Attorney
(408) 792-2985

DV Deaths Drop: Experts Say Programs Working, But More to Be Done

Domestic violence deaths in Santa Clara County fell by six from 2017 to 2018, according to the annual Domestic Violence Death Review Team’s Report released today.

In 2018, there were seven domestic violence-related deaths, including four murder victims, a suicide victim, and two perpetrators who committed suicide. Although the year before showed an annual increase by six, there has been a historically downward trend.

The most positive statistic: there have been no reported domestic violence deaths in the County this year.

The 35-page public report​ says: “With such innovative approaches as the Family Justice Centers and our increasing use of gun restraining orders, we have gotten better at protecting survivors so that they do not join these annually collated statistics. There is much work to be done.”

Recommendations in the report include strengthening and sharing lethality assessment tools, exploring the nexus between mental health civil commitments and imminent DV attacks, and increasingly using court orders to take away weapons from dangerous people.

This year’s number of domestic violence-related deaths is less than the average occurring in Santa Clara County over the past 22 years. Since 1994, there have been an average of 11 domestic violence-related deaths every year, down from a previous average of 12 annually. Looking only at the years from 2004 to the present, the average drops even further to eight domestic violence-related deaths each year.

If you are victim of domestic violence and are in need of resources, please contact the DA’s Victim Services UnitAsian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), YWCA Silicon ValleyNext Door Solutions to Domestic ViolenceMAITRI, or Community Solutions (South County).

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