Report: At least 26 Minnesotans died in domestic violence incidents last year

Two people sit in chairs while five others stand in a lobby.
Current and former staff members of Violence Free Minnesota have helped to collect information about victims of intimate partner homicide for the coalition's annual homicide report, which was formerly known as femicide report. Front row, from left: Becky Smith and Julie "Tilly" Tilley. Back row, from left: Carla Ferrucci, Safia Khan, Liz Richards, Meggie Royer and Joe Shannon.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News 2019

A coalition of groups working to address domestic violence in Minnesota says more than two dozen people were killed in domestic violence incidents in the state in 2021.

Violence Free Minnesota issued its report on Monday. It found that of the 26 known victims, 20 were women killed by current or former intimate partners. Six others were family members or bystanders.

“We mourn every loss of life, and we grieve with the families of loved ones who were killed,” Violence Free Minnesota Executive Director Guadalupe Lopez said in a statement accompanying the report. “Each year, the names and faces in our report change, but the stories largely remain the same. We know that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by violence. Over half of the 2021 victims were people of color, primarily women of color.”

The report also noted that at least 28 minor children were left without a parent due to intimate partner homicide in Minnesota in 2021.

The full report is available online here.

Violence Free Minnesota also said Monday that so far in 2022, at least 17 people have been killed by intimate partner violence in Minnesota.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.

Joe Shannon, a spokesperson for Violence Free Minnesota, said domestic violence is much more complicated than someone lashing out at another.

“At its core we know that relationship abuse is rooted in power, control and oppression,” Shannon said. “People who abuse often use multiple tactics to maintain control over their partners. This can include economic abuse, isolation, gaslighting and physical and sexual violence.”

Shannon said advocacy organizations need more funding to meet the demand for help.

"Our advocacy programs report record numbers of people reaching out for services, and those who reach out to services are reporting more severe violence, complex family needs and increased mental health issues," Shannon said.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Violence Free Minnesota said awareness events — both in-person and online — are planned for the coming weeks.

Violence Free Minnesota has compiled a list of resources available to people experiencing domestic abuse or domestic violence; find that information here.