Although a spate of recent domestic violence incidents in the Philadelphia area might indicate otherwise, the number of homicides and assaults involving “intimate partners” has trended downward nationally, along with most other violent crimes, reports the city’s Inquirer. Men, in particular, are less likely to be killed by their wives or girlfriends than in the past. Still, violence among intimates remains a huge issue for families, law enforcement and social agencies.
The director of Women Against Abuse says her Philadelphia organization gets a thousand calls a month from people seeking legal help for domestic abuse. In 2003, there were 13,888 protection-from-abuse filings in Philadelphia and about 115,000 domestic-violence calls to 911 – more than 300 a day. Yet a report released this week by the U.S. Department of Justice found that family violence – a category that includes only married couples – fell by half between 1993 and 2002. In Pennsylvania, the number of people killed by husbands, wives, boyfriends or girlfriends hovered around 60 a year from 1999 to 2003. In Philadelphia, domestic killings fell from 43 in 2000 to 23 in 2004.