2020 Colorado domestic deaths down from 2019

Data Desk

Longmont Police arrest man on domestic violence warrant (Photo credit: KDVR)

DENVER (KDVR) — The number of domestic violence fatalities in Colorado dropped in the pandemic’s opening year from the year before, though they still surpassed the number of fatalities from earlier years.

There were 63 total fatalities from domestic violence in 2020, down from 70 in 2019, according to an annual report from the Colorado Office of the Attorney General.

The 2020 report is a welcome reprieve from fears that 2020 would be an especially violent year in U.S. households. Despite the dip in numbers from 2019 to 2020, though, the trend of domestic violence fatalities is still going upward. From 2016 to 2018, there were an average 47 per year.

Domestic violence deaths do not happen throughout Colorado with the same regularity. Rural counties tend to have higher rates, which the attorney general’s report attributes to isolation, poverty, higher gun ownership rates and lack of anonymity. Grand, Otero, Park and Chaffee counties have five times the rates of domestic violence killings and attempted killings as Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld counties.

Most commonly, these deaths involve an intimate partner or former intimate partner killing the victim.

Men are more likely to commit domestic violence, both against their partners and themselves. Forty-four percent were men murdering women, 8% were women murdering men, and 6.4% were same-sex murders.

Perpetrator suicides were the second most common domestic violence deaths, accounting for 24% of fatalities. The report says men are five times more likely than women to commit suicide following the murder of their intimate partner.

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