For release on October 16, 2020
Assistant District Attorney
DV Deaths Drop: Experts Say Programs Working, But More to Be Done
Domestic violence deaths in Santa Clara County dropped to two last year, the lowest number in 25 years, according to the annual Domestic Violence Death Review Team’s Report released today.
The two domestic violence related deaths - one murder victim and a suicide victim – also marked a reduction from seven the year before.
DV deaths have been trending downward over the last decade. From 1993 to 2009, our County averaged 12 domestic violence deaths a year. Since 2010, the average number of domestic violence deaths a year is nine.
So far this year, there have been four DV deaths. While the decline is heartening news, experts remain concerned that DV - a consistently unreported crime – is even more hidden during the pandemic.
“Statistics are helpful for us to make policy decisions, but they are not people,” Assistant District Attorney James Gibbons-Shapiro said. “They do not represent so many suffering in silence. We put forth these numbers in hope that DV deaths and injuries continue to drop, and advocacy and survivors become stronger.”
The 31-page public report also says:
In 2019, each domestic violence-related death involved a perpetrator charged with a domestic violence criminal offense. Of those two perpetrators, one was charged with murder, and one is no longer facing criminal charges because of the inability to prove the underlying domestic violence offense after the suicide of the victim.
As part of the effort to combat domestic violence, the DA’s Office, in partnership with Community Solutions, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, and the YWCA of Silicon Valley operates three Family Justice Centers where victims of intimate partner violence can meet with a confidential victim advocate, a prosecutor, the police and others who can provide help and support.
If you are victim of domestic violence and are in need of resources, please contact the DA’s Victim Services Unit, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), YWCA Silicon Valley, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, MAITRI, or Community Solutions (South County).