Report: 37 people killed by domestic violence in Minnesota in 2013

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A new report from the Minnesota Coalition for Battered women finds that 37 people were killed last year as a result of domestic violence.

Tuesday, the organization released its 2013 Femicide Report.

The report tracks homicides where the suspected perpetrator was a current or former intimate partner, or the homicide was caused by domestic violence.

The number shows a dramatic spike over the 18 people killed from domestic violence in 2012. Of the 37 deaths last year, 24 women and seven men were killed by current or former intimate partners. Six friends or family were also killed. Of the 37 deaths, 17 of them were committed with firearms, according to the report.

The coalition has tracked the number of domestic violence deaths going back to 1989. While the way numbers are tabulated have changed over the years, 37 is one of the higher totals included in the report.

A number of high-profile cases brought the issue to the forefront in 2013. None of the cases drew more attention than the case of Jeffery Trevino and Kira Steger. Trevino was sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison after being convicted of second-degree unintentional murder in her death.

According to the Pioneer Press, Rebekah Moses, the coalition's program manager in public policy said, "Domestic violence homicides in 2013 heightened public concern and mobilized Minnesotans to action. Safety must be a priority and recognized as a core issue at the legislature and beyond. We are all impacted: in our workplaces, schools, homes, courts and community."

The Associated Press reports there are two pieces legislation to combat domestic violence, for lawmakers to consider. One gives victims a right to be notified of an offender's location after release, the other helps police arrest suspects who have fled.

The report is recommending other changes as well.

The AP reports organizers wonder if those with a history of domestic violence should have access to firearms. Other changes include comprehensive screenings for domestic violence anytime a victim or abuser encounters the courts, housing, medical and mental health systems, or other programs.

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