New data shows domestic violence homicides rise despite efforts

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Data pix.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- New programs and more manpower are not enough to keep domestic violence from helping trigger a record-breaking number of homicides in Memphis.

New data from MPD shows officers were called to more than 50,000 domestic disturbances every year since 2012 (see the numbers below).

While the number of reports decrease every year, there were more people killed due to domestic violence this year.

Mayor Jim Strickland said it's one of the main reasons for our high homicide rate that has impacted too many families like Melanie Tapp's.

"She called her husband, told him we were coming," said Tapp.

Tapp drove her big sister, Barbara Moore, to pick up some things at her Northeast Memphis home.

Moore and her husband just separated after 40 years of marriage.

"She went in twice to get things. The last time she came out she was crying. Said he tried to choke her," said Tapp.

Tapp remembers that October morning too well.

"I said we need to call the police. I look up, and he was standing there with a gun. I said, 'Barbara he's got a gun,' and he started shooting," said Tapp.

Moore was struck twice and died on her front lawn.

Tapp also hit by a bullet just before Moore's husband turned the gun on himself.

"It's just so hard to believe he would do something like that," said Tapp.

Tapp said her brother-in-law never showed signs of physical abuse.

Unfortunately, this story is far too common.

Just this year, more than 30 people were killed due to domestic violence even despite MPD devoting more detectives and a major to the DV unit.

WREG also found out since 2013, the city increased funds to the Family Safety Center (see spreadsheet below), a place that's helped thousands of victims.

"More people are seeking help, which is what we want to happen. That's why the increase in funding is so needed," said Jordan Howard with the center.

Family Safety Center employees don't know why domestic violence homicides are up, but are working with MPD and other agencies to combat it.

Meanwhile, Tapp and other families are trying to recover.

"My big sister was always looking out for me. I wasn't able to look out for her," she said.

Tapp said she is devoting her time to help domestic violence victims letting them know help is always available.

If you need help, call the Family Safety Center Crisis Hotline at 901-222-4400.

Information on Family Safety Center funding

Domestic Disturbances
Year Count
2012 59,176
2013 58,499
2014 56,799
2015 55,051
2016 YTD 50,184

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