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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.

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.

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.

Lethality Assessment Program — LAP

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.

Remembering the Victims

PCADV invites family members who have lost loved ones to domestic violence to add their photo and name to the Remember My Name memorial.

Fatality Reports

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