BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Over the last year, an alarmingly high number of women and girls have become victims of homicide in Baltimore City.

It’s an unsettling reality that police say is happening in Baltimore and other cities and counties across the country.

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Destiny Harrison was 21 years old when she was killed in front of her salon in southeast Baltimore. She was a businesswoman, a loving daughter and a mother.

“She was my firstborn,” Racquel Harrison, Destiny’s mother, said. “I feel her all around me. She had such an energy, such a presence.”

In 2020, 48 women and girls were victims of homicide in Baltimore. That represents about 18% of homicides in the city, the highest number of fatalities among women in recent history.

Colonel Sheree Briscoe is the Chief of Detectives with Baltimore Police.

WJZ’s Rachel Menitoff: Why do you think we’re seeing these trends here in Baltimore and across the country?

Colonel Briscoe: There’s this unexplained or unknown why that, academically speaking, statistically speaking, we’ve been able to pinpoint, and we’re looking at that and we’re leaning on other relationships to better understand that in a way that.

Colonel Briscoe says that the reasons why are not so clear cut, but there are hints of information.

For example, there is an increasing number of calls related to domestic violence. There was also an increase in the number of female suspects committing crimes, especially shootings.

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But, these are just a few of many possible reasons why.

“This is a conversation that we really have to take a global look at and look across the spectrum of partnerships and relationships to see how do we impact the work,” Colonel Briscoe said.

One of those partnerships is with organizations like Rebound.

“We’re treating the trauma because we believe that hurt people hurt people,” Ericka Alston, Executive Director of Rebound, said.

Alston works with young men, and now many young women, to try to stop the cycle of violence.

“Not only do we have the loss of this mom, the loss of this young woman, and the impact it has on her family, but now her children are traumatized,” Alston said.

Destiny Harrison is one of those women. She leaves behind a grieving family, including her 2-year-old daughter, Dream.

“It’s time to start protecting our women and our children because they’re our future,” Racquel Harrison said.

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Rachel Menitoff