First the bad news, then the good.
Two people were killed by abusers in our region since October of last year. In Leon County alone, 1,711 domestic violence offenses were reported in 2014 — more than four every day, and an increase of more than 13 percent from 2013. Aggravated assaults—felony attacks involving deadly weapons or lethal threats—increased by nearly 24 percent. Domestic violence calls to our Refuge House hotlines topped 3,800 last year, and more than 1,300 people sought injunction assistance at our Leon County Courthouse office. Behind all of these statistics are the faces of our friends, sisters, daughters, co-workers and their children, doing their absolute best to defend themselves, assert themselves, and stop the attacks that harm, threaten and humiliate.
Now, the good news: the impact of our community’s campaign to reduce and eliminate domestic violence homicide. Just four years ago, in 2011, we saw eight Leon County victims killed, three suicides by their attackers, and another four victims in Wakulla and Gadsden counties—12 victims, and 15 total deaths.