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New report to tally domestic violence deaths in 2013

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Early next week, members of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women will discuss the findings of the 2013 Minnesota Femicide Report at the state Capitol.

The coalition will hold a news conference on Tuesday. The organization expects a number of legislators to attend.

City Pages reports coalition officials say there were 37 domestic violence homicides in Minnesota last year. While the number is high, it isn't a record. According to the 2012 Femicide report, 40 women died from domestic violence in 2000.

However, the total would more than double the 18 domestic homicide murders in 2012.

There were a number of high-profile domestic violence cases in Minnesota last year. None more highly publicized than the case of Kira Steger. Her husband, Jeffery Trevino, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder and sentenced to 27 1/2 years, in her death.

The coalition has tracked the number of domestic violence deaths in the state every year since 1989. There have been some changes to the report's methodology, over the years.

MCBW Program Manager Safia Lovett told City Pages, "Right now our criteria is pretty specific to 'intimate partner violence,' so year-to-year comparisons are like comparing apples to oranges."

On its website, the organization also points out the numbers indicate at least this many women and children have been murdered. The organization says it can not be certain they have not missed some since data collection relies upon news accounts.

According to City Pages, MCBW Executive Director Liz Richards said the organization plans to push lawmakers for two bills during the legislative session. The first would allow victims to be notified about where offenders will be released when they are freed from custody. The other bill would make it easier for police to arrest a domestic violence suspect where a misdemeanor assault allegedly occurred.

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