Domestic violence deaths are down, but one group says 'we have to do better'

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The number of Minnesotans who died as a result of domestic violence dropped last year compared to 2013.

The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women's annual Femicide Report found there were at least 23 deaths linked to domestic violence in 2014:

  • At least 16 women were killed by a current or former intimate partner.
  • At least five family members, friends or interveners were killed in a domestic violence-related situation.
  • At least two men were killed by a current or former intimate partner.

In 2013, there were 37 deaths related to domestic violence: 25 women, six family members/friends and seven men.

The drop in domestic violence-related deaths is progress, but officials say more needs to be done.

"We're not stopping this before it becomes a murder, and we have to do better," Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said at a news conference Tuesday, according to FOX 9.

Among the most notable incidents in 2014 was the death of Kelly Phillips. His former partner, Lyle "Ty" Hoffman, pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder last week.

The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women monitors information about people killed as a result of domestic violence in order to educate the public, as well as use the statistics to urge the Legislature to increase funding for public safety and domestic violence intervention programs.

The coalition uses news reports and information from law enforcement officials to track and report fatal domestic violence figures. The organization has been doing so since 1989, and notes numbers could be higher because no state or federal agency collects comprehensive data on domestic homicides, according to its website.

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