Each year, PCADV tracks and reports on domestic violence-related fatalities in Pennsylvania. "Fatalities" includes both victims killed by the perpetrators and perpetrators who committed suicide or were killed by law enforcement. "Victims" includes all the innocent victims: the intended victims as well as bystanders, children and other family members, and law enforcement officers killed by the perpetrator.
2016 Fatality Report: 102 victims
One-hundred and two people were killed last year in domestic violence incidents in Pennsylvania, and 56 percent of the victims were shot, according to the 2106 Fatality Report released today by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
For the sixth straight year, firearms accounted for more than half of all fatalities. There were 56 female victims and 46 male victims, and 37 perpetrator deaths, according to the report. In addition, two police officers died responding to domestic violence incidents.
In the last ten years, more than 1,600 people have died in domestic violence-related incidents in Pennsylvania.
The annual report is compiled through news accounts, police reports, and information received from our 60 community-based programs serving all 67 counties. Included are killings based on the definition of domestic violence in the Protection from Abuse (PFA) Act.
The report does not include unsolved cases, cases where no arrests were made, and child abuse and neglect cases, which are reported to the Department of Human Services.
- Read the full report274.17 K | 3/15/2017
2015 Fatality Report: 113 victims
In 2015, the number of victims included 68 women and 45 men. The youngest victim killed was 18 and the oldest was 95. Perpetrators used firearms to kill more than half of the victims.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, unlike some states, has no central database or separate reporting requirements for domestic violence homicides. PCADV compiles its annual list based on news accounts, police reports and information received from our 60 community-based programs serving all 67 counties. Our list is based on information available at publication and is subject to change as circumstances warrant.
We counted killings based on the definition of domestic violence in the Protection From Abuse Act. Therefore, those cases counted include killings among current, former and new intimate partners — including perpetrators who kill their ex-partner’s new partner — and family members.
We excluded unsolved cases; cases where no arrests were made, even if intimate partners or family members are suspects; and child abuse and child neglect cases, because they are reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.
- Read the full report
pdf file - 4 MB3.96 Meg | 3/28/2016
A Grim Toll in Pennsylvania
As diverse as the victims are - from all corners of the Commonwealth and of all ages, races, incomes and educational levels - their struggles often share eerie similarities. Many were attempting to end abusive relationships, seeking legal protections and hoping to obtain custody of their children, while trying to stay safe.
So many of the perpetrators' stories also share eerily similar elements - intimidation, obsession, possessiveness, revenge and refusal to accept the end of a relationship. Firearms are the predominant choice of weapon in domestic violence fatalities in Pennsylvania.
PCADV produces an annual domestic violence fatality report as a chilling reminder of the consequences of unchecked violence and the suffering and loss experienced by families, friends and communities.
In Pennsylvania since 2004, at least 1,678 people died as a result of domestic violence-related incidents.
The Lethality Assessment Program is a nationally recognized, evidence-based initiative with demonstrated success in strengthening partnerships between law enforcement and domestic violence service providers. LAP connects victims of domestic violence with life-saving services, thereby reducing domestic violence fatalities.
- 2016 Fatality Report274.17 K | 3/15/2017
- 2015 Fatality Report3.96 Meg | 3/15/2017
- Fatality Report - 20143.82 Meg | 3/28/2016
- Fatality Report - 20131.91 Meg | 3/25/2015
- Fatality Report - 20123.15 Meg | 9/27/2013
- Fatality Report - 20112.58 Meg | 2/27/2013
- Fatality Report - 2010957.22 K | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 200913.46 Meg | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 2008820.87 K | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 20073.6 Meg | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 20061.38 Meg | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 20052.75 Meg | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 2004422.29 K | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 20033.07 Meg | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 2002201.56 K | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 2001100.03 K | 2/24/2013
- Fatality Report - 2000732.38 K | 2/24/2013
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If you fear for your immediate safety, call 9-1-1 or your local police.
Contact the domestic violence program in your area for free and confidential help.
Other victim programs are available to help you and your family.
Any attorney helping a domestic violence victim may contact the PCADV legal department at 888-235-3425 for information on law and legal procedures. (This is not a helpline for victims.)
The information provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided under this topic is not legal advice, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not a substitute for contacting an experienced attorney. Read our full legal disclaimer.
- When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2008 Homicide Data (Violence Policy Center, 2009)
- American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States (Violence Policy Center)
- The Facts on Guns and Domestic Violence (Family Violence Prevention Fund)
- Facts on Firearms and Domestic Violence (Violence Policy Center)
- Fact Sheet: Firearms and Intimate Partner Violence (Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University)
- 2015 Fatality Report