About 22 percent of the 476 Ohio homicides last year were the result of domestic violence, compared with 4 percent of the 519 homicides in 2009 and 13 percent of the 543 in 2008, says the Columbus Dispatch. Annie Murray, the head of the domestic-violence unit of the Columbus prosecutor's office, has noticed increased violence since 2008 in the misdemeanor cases she handles. “Victims are much more scared,” Murray said.
Alice Robinson-Bond, the crime victim's section chief for the Ohio attorney general's office, said the seemingly dramatic increase in deaths likely reflects an increase in the number of agencies reporting the crime. About 40 of the 105 fatalities last year were reported by agencies that had not reported their statistics previously. The increase in deaths also could be attributed to an uptick in multiple-victim domestic homicides, said Ron O'Brien, the Franklin County prosecutor. If reporting was more consistent and the state had a fatality-review board to look more closely at the deaths, the statistics would provide greater insight, Robinson-Bond said.