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The Boston Globe

Editorial

editorial

On domestic violence in Mass., an encouraging trend emerges

In 2012, the number of domestic-violence deaths in Massachusetts dropped significantly — from 32 in 2010 to 26 in 2011 to 12 in 2012, albeit with 8 perpetrators either killed in the scuffle or committing suicide. While only time will tell if the trend is sustainable, the likelihood is that some easing of the social stigma surrounding family violence has made potential victims more willing to seek help, and continued expansion of support services from police, social workers, churches, and neighborhood networks has given them more places to get help.

But advocates for Jane Doe Inc., which tracks the numbers of victims, emphasize that more vigilance is necessary to address a problem that remains epidemic in American society. Data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey indicate that, every minute, 24 American adults are victims of physical assault, rape, or stalking.

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