Two women killed by their husbands in separate murder-suicides several hours apart on Feb. 18 in Memphis left the community shocked by the back-to-back domestic violence slayings, reports the USA Today Network. “We have through the years had episodes where men kill women and then themselves, but two in one day is not typical at all,” said Deborah Clubb of the Memphis Area Women’s Council.
Last year in Memphis, deadly domestic violence incidents claimed 26 victims, accounting for 11 percent of all homicides. Domestic violence killings have increased sharply from previous years, which included 13 in 2014 and just eight in 2015, says the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission. “Twenty-six is a huge number. It’s a terrifying number,” said Clubb. “It’s evidence that we still have an epidemic of this violence. People even in family situations, what’s supposed to be a ‘home is your sanctuary’ ideal, we have instead vicious, vicious behavior going on.” Said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, “I used to say … our domestic violence numbers were moving in the right direction. But this number just jumped off the page.”