MINNEAPOLIS -- Domestic abuse experts say they're concerned about an alarming trend in the state: a higher than average number of domestic homicides this year.
According to the Domestic Abuse Project: last year, there were 14 domestic homicides for all of 2012. This year, there have already been 13 domestic homicides.
"This year, we're extremely concerned, because here we are just the beginning of May, we've had 13 domestic homicides in our state already," said Carol Arthur, executive director of the Domestic Abuse Project.
Arthur and other experts urge potential victims to heed the signs of danger. She says the following behaviors in a significant other could suggest he's capable of domestic violence and even homicide: if he's ever threatened to kill his partner; if he has ever used a weapon in an assault -- or displayed it as a threat; if he has attempted to strangle his partner; if he acts obsessively jealous; or if he's forced sex on his partner.
Experts acknowledge it can be difficult for victims to gauge whether they're in a dangerous situation. They urge victims to go to domestic abuse websites, where they can answer questions that will help them rate the risk. They also urge victims to develop a plan to leave, with the help of a trusted friend of domestic abuse advocate.
The state's domestic abuse crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That number is: 1.866.223.1111.
"It will connect you immediately to a battered women's shelter," Artur said.
"What we know about domestic violence is that without helpful intervention it does not stop. It continues and frequently over time, it will get more frequent and get more severe," she said.
For more information about resources for domestic abuse victims, check out the Domestic Abuse Project website or the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women website.
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