Intimate partner violence in Utah continues to climb above national average

The recent deaths of Russel Smith, his wife Shawna, and their two young children in Roy, Utah are being investigated as a murder-suicide officials say. Experts contend that domestic violence homicides such as these are far too common in Utah, a grim fact the death of the Smith family has illuminated.  Reporting for Fox 13 News Tiffany Demasters highlights the following:

  • Adult homicides make up 42 percent of domestic violence cases in Utah since 2000, experts say. The national average is 30 percent.
  • Each month at least one woman is murdered by her intimate partner in Utah.
  • This is the second case of an apparent murder-suicide this month. The first occurred in Murray on June 7 when Johnathon Reeves reportedly shot and killed his fiancée, 34-year-old Jaimie Salazar and their 2-year-old son, Jordan Reeves, before turning the gun on himself. 
  • According to Utah Department of Health numbers there are three domestic violence related suicides each month. 
  • State numbers also show roughly 80 children every year witness their mother’s murder or attempted murder.