Wichita Sees Spike In Domestic Violence

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UPDATE: Friday, February 3, 2012

Wichita police say domestic violence lead to an increased number of murders in 2011. Overall, crime numbers are slightly down from last year but officers worked a total of 27 homicides. It's an alarming spike from the 18 homicides in 2010.

Ten of those 2011 deaths are classified as domestic violence crimes. Police Chief Norman Williams is asking citizens to help be part of the solution.

"What can we continue to do within the community to get information out there, to be proactive, to make an impact? Because when you look at those ten domestic homicides, one homicide is too many," said Williams.

Wichita experienced last experienced ten domestic violence murders in one year back in 2004. Lt. Ken Landwehr says what stands out to police is how few of these cases had any history of previous police contact.

"Only two had previous reports. So there's always a problem. There's a history from talking to family members, to friends, neighbors that there were (domestic violence) problems before with these individuals, but they were never reported to police," said Landwehr.

No reporting means no chance of intervention. Reporting domestic or sexual violence is something YWCA Crisis Safe House Executive Director Stacey Mann can't stress enough.

"The reality is we likely all know someone who's a victim of domestic or sexual violence but they're not saying it," said Mann.

Mann says telling someone is key to getting help. It's also dangerous.

"That is when victims are most often severally injured or murdered," said Mann.

Mann says the YWCA educates on knowing the red flags of domestic violence. They do what they can to support victims and let them know what their options are for help.

The YWCA has a 24-hour hotline victims can call to find resources. That number is 316-267-7233. You can also find more information by clicking the link below.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A yearly report released by the Wichita Police department finds mixed news in fighting crimes.

Officers worked 27 homicides last year, compared to 18 in 2010. Ten of those homicides were classified as domestic violence crimes.

Lt. Ken Landwehr, Wichita police, said only two of those cases had previous histories.

“It is important for families to report domestic violence issues to police,” Landwehr said.

Eight homicides were gang-related. It was the only category, police said, that spiked over year-to-year totals. Officers made 1,141 gang-related arrests in 2011, down 13-percent from 2010. Gang-related drive-by shootings were also the lowest over a five-year period.

Wichita Police worked 25 fatal accidents last year, of which 26 people died. Previous KAKE news reports have found seven of those accidents were drunk driving related. Officers arrested 2,282 people for driving drunk in 2011, up 195 from the previous year. Authorities arrested more people for drunk driving last year over a five-year period.

Officials said robbery, larceny and auto theft cases rose in 2011. But the number of burglary crimes dropped slightly to 3,979, down 270.

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