Each year, the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence assembles a grim account of state residents who died as a result of domestic violence, who killed them, and how they were killed. Thirty-eight Maryland residents died as a result of domestic violence in the MNADV's latest accounting period, which stretches from July 2009 to June 2010.
This year, Maryland men and women were equally likely to die as a result of domestic violence, but men were much more likely to commit domestic violence murders. That's because the MNADV counts all deaths that arise from a violent domestic situation—including abusers who killed themselves or were killed by police, and men killed by their partner's exes.
Domestic violence killed 18 women in Maryland last year. Women were most likely to be killed by their male partners: 10 women were killed by their husbands or ex-husbands and seven were killed by their boyfriends or ex-boyfriends; the final woman was killed by her brother-in-law.
Eighteen men died as a result of domestic violence in the state. Three were killed by a wife or ex-wife, one was killed by a girlfriend or ex-girlfriend, and one was killed by an ex-girlfriend and her husband. Five were killed by a partner's ex; one was killed by his aunt's boyfriend. Five committed suicide after committing a domestic murder or attempted murder and two were killed by police. Eighteen percent of people who died of domestic violence last year died as a result of committing domestic violence.
Two children, one male and one female, were both killed by their father.
Of all the domestic violence deaths recorded in Maryland last year, 66 percent involved firearms. Eighteen deaths involved handguns; seven involved rifles or shotguns. Six of the deaths involved knives; three involved physical force; two involved strangulation; one involved asphyxiation, and one, an ice pick.
Last year marked the lowest death count the organization has recorded since it began assembling the statistics in 1987. But that doesn't mean domestic violence will necessarily continue to decline in Maryland; over the past 23 years, domestic violence deaths have fluctuated wildly in the state. And as the MNADV says: "we won't stop until there's NONE."