COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – There have now been more than 60 homicides in Columbus so far this year. About 20% of them, or 12, have been domestic violence related, according to Mayor Andrew Ginther. The mayor said that number is more than all of last year, and it’s only May.
“I would hate to say worse because we don’t want it to be worse, but we are worried the trend is heading in that direction,” said Maria York, policy director with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN).
The ODVN has been tracking domestic-related homicides for the last seven years. York said its next report is due out in a few months, and advocates and survivors call what’s been going on in Columbus concerning.
“Some of this stuff can be curbed, you know what I mean,” domestic violence survivor Marica Phipps-Johnson said. “This doesn’t have to happen the way it’s happening; it’s just devastating.”
Phipps-Johnson is the founder and CEO of Battered Not Broken, a non-profit that supports those dealing with domestic violence. She said more education about prevention is needed and resources need to be more visible to those who need them.
“If I can help anybody to not become one, that’s why I keep doing what I do,” Phipps-Johnson said.
Diona Clark is another survivor of domestic violence who is now helping others. She started Liv Out Loud to help others dealing with situations similar to the ones she was once in. She also said more education and exposure to resources are necessary.
“Making sure you put those resources out and making them more visible to those survivors, and to the survivors, those that are actually going through domestic violence, don’t think you’re alone, don’t think your story is the only story,” she said.
Resources through the ODVN can be found here.