Last year, 23 people in Minnesota died as a result of domestic violence, according to an annual report released Tuesday.
The Femicide Report, which has been published by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women (MCBW) since 1989, documents statewide intimate partner homicides and also offers recommendations for community response.
In 2014, at least 16 women, 2 men and 5 interveners, bystanders or family members were murdered, which was a decline from the year before which had a total of 38 murders.
Despite the drop, the MCBW stressed the need for more resources for victims. According to a MCBW release, state funding for crime victims services has decreased by over 40 percent in the past 15 years.
One of the challenges of preventing and intervening in domestic violence is the “complexity of issues that exist within individual’s lives and relationships” such as mental health issues, poverty and chemical dependency, according to the report. In order to successfully address domestic violence, the report discusses taking a holistic approach to helping victims.
“People who experience domestic violence are impacted in many different ways,” said Rebekah Moses, MCBW's program manager in public policy, in a statement. “These are complex situations that require complex solutions.”
Several of the victims memorialized in the report were killed last year in St. Paul:
Prince Pope, 32, was murdered January 25, at his birthday party when his brother confronted their sister’s boyfriend about her black eye. Pope’s brother was stabbed by a friend of the boyfriend and Pope was fatally shot as he intervened, according to charges.
Michelle Ploetz, 20, was shot in the head by the father of her child April 16 as the pair, their 8-month-old son and Ploetz’s father, headed home from dinner at the Little Oven on St. Paul’s East Side. Timothy Scott Hendricks, 19, was sentenced to nearly 48 years in prison for the murder.
Towanda F. Harris, 46, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend WIlliam Chestnut on May 9 when they began arguing and hitting each other during a visit, according to charges against Chestnut.
Miranda Schunk, 38, was fatally stabbed December 29 at her apartment by her ex-boyfriend, Kevin S. Evans, less than two weeks after she obtained a protection order against him, according to charges.