29 deaths and counting: Indy sees dramatic increase in female homicide victims in 2021

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis is seeing a dramatic increase in homicides involving female victims this year.

On Congress Avenue, a woman was found shot to death behind a family member’s home on Monday.

That killing marked the 29th woman to be the victim of homicide in Indianapolis in 2021.

“It’s heartbreaking and lets us know that our women are not being discriminated against when it comes to gun violence within our community,” said Danyette Smith with Silent No More Inc.

To put the violence in perspective, by May 4 of 2018, there were four female homicide victims. That number went up slightly to seven in 2019 before climbing to 13 in 2020.

In just four months, the number of women killed this year is already higher than the 12-month total for two of the last five years. In 2018, there were 26 female homicides for the entire year, with 22 deaths in 2016.

“Don’t get discouraged. Still reach out and try to get those resources,” said Smith.

Smith, a women’s advocate who raises awareness about domestic violence, encourages all women to find help if they feel in danger.

“Unfortunately, with these times, woman are not immune to gun violence, and domestic violence does not discriminate,” said Smith.

Although the reason for the shooting on Congress remains unclear, police believe the death of a 22-year-old woman identified as Jordan Henry at an apartment complex last week near Castleton was domestic related

In fact, because police say a majority of female homicides involve domestic issues, the clearance rate for cases involving women this year is 73%. That is significantly higher than the 39% clearance for male victims.

“Domestic violence does often end in death, and we have to be careful and understand the cycle of violence and get help, get resources,” said Smith.

Including both men and women, the homicide on Monday marked the 83rd total homicide of the year.

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