CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Most victims killed by domestic violence in New Hampshire did not seek help, even though more than half of the perpetrators had a history of domestic violence.
New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney said Monday that of the 79 domestic violence-related homicide victims during the decade ending in 2010, only 6 percent had sought crisis center services and only two victims had a protective order in place when they died. He noted that 53 percent of the killers had a known history of domestic violence.
‘‘The one thing that jumped out at me was the low percentage of homicide victims who had some contact with crisis centers,’’ Delaney said.
Law enforcement and judicial officials and domestic violence counselors said their goal is to increase public awareness about help available in the state’s 14 domestic violence crisis centers. But they said they are attempting to provide outreach and services in an era of dwindling resources.
‘‘The funding is simply not there,’’ said Kim France, executive director of the New Hampshire Commission Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Last year, France said, 16,496 people sought domestic violence services, an increase of 3 percent. Also last year, eight of the state’s 22 homicides stemmed from domestic violence.
Delaney said the state is looking to adopt a Maryland program that trains police and other first responders to screen for those whose safety is in immediate jeopardy from domestic violence. He said the referrals to crisis centers in Maryland climbed to 28 percent under the program, but its implementation in New Hampshire depends largely on Congress reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act — which is stalled in political and procedural wrangling.
Delaney released the 2012 report by the Governor’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. It concludes that half of the state’s homicides and 92 percent of homicide/suicides were domestic violence related.
Rural Sullivan County had the highest number domestic violence-related homicides per capita — almost twice the state’s average at 1.17 per thousand people. Five of the county’s eight homicides during the decade were domestic violence.
Elizabeth Paine, who chairs the Fatality Review Committee, said domestic violence homicides are more concentrated in rural areas because of the inherent isolation.
‘‘It takes a tremendous amount of courage for an individual to come forward to talk about the most intimate aspects of their lives,’’ Paine said.
The report tracks trends. The months of July and September and Sundays had the highest concentration of domestic violence homicides. Most occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and 84 percent occurred at home. Handguns were used in 48 percent of the homicides, followed by stabbings in 22 percent and blunt force in 21 percent of cases.
Paine said 4,616 people sought domestic violence protective orders last year, but more than a fourth of those later withdrew their petitions.