By Katy Solt

CHARLOTTE, NC  – Domestic violence is a problem plaguing the nation and Charlotte. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department has teamed up with local hospitals and other community partners to try and help victims of one of the most dangerous forms of domestic violence.

Domestic violence investigators have created the strangulation task force after seeing an increase in cases locally, and seeing scary statistics.

According to research from the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, men who strangle women are 750% more likely to kill their victim, and 40 to 60 percent of known cop killers have a history of strangling women.

“All along that system, there was just that lack of understanding that when a woman says I was strangled, that that’s a big deal,” says Sgt. Craig Varnum with CMPD. “That that’s a huge indicator for future lethality, and that’s a person that we need to do everything in our power to help.”

Sgt. Varnum created the task force which focuses on helping people spot signs of strangulation, and getting victims the help that they need.

Ana Maria Ibanez is a survivor of domestic violence and says this task force will save lives throughout Charlotte.

“I’m super happy and that is amazing because that is what we have to do to make awareness to the people, and to reach every community to tell them that is not okay,” she says. “That you have to report, and if we are all together, that is perfect, because that is the way to go out from this problem that is terrible.”

CMPD says so far in 2019 there have been 10 homicides as a result of domestic violence.

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