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Oklahoma's ranking drops for the number of women killed by men

The 2013 numbers unveiled by the Washington D.C. based Violence Policy Center show our state is now tied with Tennessee.

Instead of number three we now share the number six spot which still means our state is in the top 10 for the number of women killed by men.

"Nationwide that would just mean other states did worse than they did the year before which gave them a worse ranking," Deb Stanaland with the Young Women's Christian Association said.

Stanaland also says anyone looking at the numbers need to put them into a larger perspective.

For instance the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board recorded 40 deaths in 2012 and 43 in 2013.

That total includes all intimate partner relationships whereas the VPC's numbers only count violence against women.

"We have a huge problem in our society in our community considering today one in four women experience domestic violence and it's a huge problem," Stanaland said.

Which happens when the problem is highlighted by a national or local incident but what about when it's not in the spotlight?

"This happens in our backyard, it happens with our neighbors, it happens in our own homes and it's one of the best kept secrets that there is," Stanaland said.

But it's one that needs to be told because the resources are in place if you want to get out and find help.

The YWCA is just putting their finishing touches on the Thelma Gaylord Emergency Shelter.

"We will be able to house approximately 120 women and children at one time which is more than double our capacity from our current shelter," Stanaland said.

Starting later this month the Attorney General's Office Victim Services Unit will begin training law enforcement to use a new tool if a domestic violence incident turns deadly.

"They ask them a few very specific questions that would lead them to believe this is someone that could utilize the help of an advocate to be able to help them with a safety plan," Stanaland said.

The YWCA also wants women and men to know their doors are open 24 hours seven days a week.

To reach their domestic violence hotline you can call 917-9922.

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