Domestic violence-related homicides skyrocket in NYC, according to new report

Scene of Queens bar stabbing
FILE – NYPD officers at the scene of a crime.
File photo by Dean Moses

A new report has highlighted a disturbing uptick in homicides among intimate partners, showing the number of people killed in incidents of domestic violence increased by a shocking 29.2% in the one-year period between 2021 and 2022. 

The report, released by the Urban Resource Institute, uses the most recent data available, and shows that there were 31 people killed by their partners in 2022, compared with 24 the prior year. That uptick in domestic violence-related killings comes even as the number of homicides in the city remained relatively stable between the two years. 

Between 2010 and 2022, there were 793 intimate partner homicides — representing 16.7% of all murders during that time frame (854 of 5,125), according to the report. 

In 2022, Black women made up 41% of the victims killed by their partners, despite representing just 21% of the population. 

Hispanic women were also disproportionately affected, according to the report, which shows that 36% of victims were Hispanic, despite comprising only 28% of Big Apple residents. 

When releasing the NYPD statistics for 2022, Cecile Noel, the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic Violence, noted the disproportionate harm domestic violence has done to minority women.

“The disproportionate burden of domestic and intimate partner homicides on Black women is inexorably linked to institutional policies, practices, and procedures that reinforce to prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against minority or marginalized groups based on race, ethnicity, sex, immigration status, or social or economic status,” she said.

Aside from race, the report details the asymmetric number of victims in certain boroughs. 

In Brooklyn, intimate partner homicides escalated by 225%. Similarly, the Bronx also saw a 57% uptick during the same period.

Researchers with the URI, along with their report, critiqued Mayor Eric Adams for his proposals that would cut the budget for preventing and penalizing incidents of domestic violence. 

“Every single life lost, every future derailed as a result of gender based violence is a policy failure that could have been prevented,” said Nathaniel Fields, the CEO of URI. 

Instead of slashing those budgets, the organization has advocated for a public awareness campaign to speak out against intimate partner violence, with a focus on communities of color and young New Yorkers. 

“Safety is non-negotiable, regardless of race, socio-economic status or gender identity. New York must implement a targeted and ongoing public education and awareness campaign with a focus on communities of color, designed to empower community members to identify the signs of abuse and where they can go to get help,” Fields said in a statement. “The campaign should also include messaging that will reach people who have caused harm, so they know where they can access trauma-informed accountability programming.” 

In addition, URI leadership has called for greater levels of funding for homeless shelters — as victims often stay in abusive relationships due to their housing situations. 

“We have the tools, the knowledge, and the will to put an end to domestic violence and homelessness. There are no excuses left for an increase in domestic violence homicides when we possess the means to eradicate this crisis,” Fields said.