Number of domestic violence deaths in Minnesota highest since 2005

The number of women killed by domestic violence so far in 2015 is the highest it has been in Minnesota since 2005.

Julie Hildreth was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend in Aurora, Minn. on Sunday. Hildreth is the 26th adult female killed as a result of domestic violence in Minnesota this year. 16 women were killed in 2014.

“What we know from the numbers is that domestic violence is happening in every neighborhood in every community of the state,” Liz Richards of the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women said.

What is different this year is that police have been more aware of the potentially dangerous situations.

“There was some involvement [on] how can we learn from this and somehow improve what we're doing on these cases,” Richards says.

In Minnesota, the perpetrator kills himself in half of the domestic violence homicides – higher than the national average. Richards believes there could be a possible disconnect between efforts to prevent suicide and domestic violence.

Richards says helping women to escape the violence before it turns deadly is the key.

Survivors of domestic violence like Eboni Broom work as advocates to help victims of domestic violence.

“Use whatever little strength you have and get out and be safe and you never know, one day you might be able to tell your story and help someone,” Broom said.

Anyone who needs help with a domestic violence situation should call the 24-hour at 866-223-1111.