Guns used in 75% of domestic violence deaths in Ohio, report says

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Community members and leaders from Greene County gathered at The Greene Town Square in Beavercreek to light candles and pause for peace Monday evening at the annual candlelight vigil against domestic violence.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

81 people killed in Ohio in domestic violence cases last year

Eighty-one Ohioans died at the hands of domestic abusers in the last year and 75% of those cases involved a firearm, according to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s annual list of fatalities.

The data is for the 12 months that ended June 30.

While the overall number is lower than the 91 fatalities reported the prior year, there are recurring themes each year:

* in one quarter of the homicides, children are present at the scene;

* one-third of the cases involved suicide;

* In almost 1/3 of cases, the perpetrator had faced previous DV charges, according to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

“We are calling on legislators to get the guns out of the hands of the abusers,” said Bridget Mahoney, chair of the ODVN Board. The organization supports Gov. Mike DeWine’s call to align state law with federal law, which prohibits people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence of purchasing or possessing firearms.

Among the 81 fatalities in the ODVN report are four family members killed in West Chester Twp. in April. Gurpreet Singh is facing aggravated murder charges in the deaths of his wife, in-laws and an aunt by marriage.

Related: Man charged in West Chester homicides to be returned to Ohio

ODVN last year kicked off a clemency project to help women imprisoned for killing their abusers to apply for clemency from the governor. The organization helped 13 women apply but only one, Thomia Hunter, had her 15 to life sentence reduced by Republican John Kasich to time served. The group also helped seven women prepare to see the Ohio Parole Board.

Related: Lawmakers seek to strengthen Ohio's domestic violence laws

Related: Ohio expands domestic violence laws to dating relationships

Related: Hours after protection order, couple killed in murder-suicide

Ohio Domestic Violence Network reported that July 2017 to June 2018, there were 91 fatalities attributed to domestic violence; in 22 percent of the deaths, children were at the scene; and in 46 percent of the fatalities the victim had ended the relationship or was in the process of ending it.

In 2018, there were 75,466 calls to police about domestic violence statewide, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Victims of domestic violence in the Dayton area can reach out to the Artemis Domestic Violence Center (937-461-HELP) or the YWCA Dayton (937-222-SAFE), both of which provide services.