Study: Filipino women over-represented in domestic violence deat - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Study: Filipino women over-represented in domestic violence deaths

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Residents of Filipino ancestry make up 15 percent of Hawaii's population, but constituted 30 percent of fatal domestic violence cases over the last decade, according to a new study presented to lawmakers on Friday.

The analysis come just a week after 65-year-old Isagani Fajotina allegedly killed his wife, Melita, after more than 35 years together. 

"What stood out for me was the level of over-representation of D.V. related deaths within the Filipino community," said state Rep. Della Au Belatti, chairwoman of the House Health Committee.

"It's going to help us direct where resources are needed. We need to have competent training and services."

The study also shows that most of the women killed sought help or had contact with up to four different agencies: law enforcement, the prosecutor's office, the courts, or health care providers.

Nanci Kreidman, of the Domestic Violence Action Center, says the findings underscore the need for increased interventions.

"Those are points of entry," she said. "Those are opportunities, and if we miss those opportunities, we lose lives."

Kreidman points to the recent case of Bobby Young-Townsend, the Kahaluu man accused of setting his girlfriend on fire while they argued in a van Monday.

"If you look at his record, (he has a) pretty robust criminal justice system record, so we're going to look at that a little bit carefully and see what didn't work ... to hold him accountable and prevent his subsequent act of violence," Kreidman said.

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