COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The number of Ohio children killed in domestic violence incidents has reached an all-time high.
The Ohio Domestic Violence Network reported Wednesday that 112 domestic violence deaths occurred in the state from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, a figure that included 22 children. It is the highest number of youth fatalities since the ODVN began tracking numbers seven years ago.
The ODVN said four deaths were teenagers who were the primary victims in an abusive relationship and that 16 were younger than 10 years old, with six being infants.
Seventeen of the children were killed by their fathers, including one case in Cincinnati where a 31-year-old pregnant woman was shot and killed. Medical staff delivered the baby before the mother died, but the baby died the following day.
“Every domestic violence fatality is a tragedy, but this year’s youth fatality numbers are truly shocking,” ODVN Director of Systems Advocacy and Policy Council Lisa DeGeeter said in a news release.
At least 91% of the deaths were caused by guns, up from 86% last year. Forty-two percent of the cases involved the perpetrator dying by suicide, and 25% of perpetrators had a known history of domestic violence.
“Once again, we see that guns are taking the lives of domestic violence victims at devastating rates,” DeGeeter said.
The ODVN, which has aided 81,000 domestic violence survivors, provides support and services for victims and domestic violence-related issues at the state and federal levels. It offers a training institute, legal assistance program, and a statewide prevention program.