MILWAUKEE — On Thursday morning, the Medical County Medical Examiner's Office (MCMEO) said there had been 34 female homicides so far this year. Just hours later, that office would report another homicide.
According the MCMEO, female homicides had reached 16 at this point in 2021, less than half that of this year's total.
"It's worse than the pandemic. Hell, it is a pandemic if you ask me. One is too many," said Bushraa Rahman, a member of the ComForce MKE outreach team.
Rahman was out near 17th and Wright with Shequila Morrison, another ComForce member, where the young woman was killed on Thursday.
Her father told TMJ4 News her name was Daneysha Velez. They called her DayDay, he said, and she was just 24 years old.
"They're hurt. They're traumatized. They're shocked. They lost a good person," said Morrison, speaking on behalf of the family.
Velez, based on MCMEO data, is the ninth female homicide victim just this month.
Police are investigating her death, but have yet to release any details. Neighbors reported a large amount of gunfire. Her autopsy is scheduled for Friday.
The MCMEO said at least five female homicides this month were related to domestic violence.
- Six Milwaukee County women dead from domestic violence in just two weeks
- Domestic violence deaths see a spike in Milwaukee County and people of color disproportionately affected
Carmen Pitre, the president and CEO of Sojourner Peace Center, said her organization has seen an increase in domestic violence, and female homicides, since 2019.
The violence is still increasing, she said, and a number of factors are exacerbating the problem.
"We're living in very, very hard times. Covid. Economy. Polarized beliefs," said Pitre.
She said that as a society, we all pay a price if we look away.
"We lose the potential of that human being. And every other person who loved that person, is now wounded, struggling and suffering," said Pitre.
She said she's most worried about the thousands of women across the state whose lives are not safe.
"If you're sitting at home tonight watching this [interview], reach out to somebody. Because if you reach out to somebody you're more likely to survive," she said.