LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Metro Police Department is dealing with a sharp spike in domestic violence homicides. 

Chief Steve Conrad called it "an unusually high number" of domestic violence murders so far this year. For January alone, LMPD has investigated 10 homicides.  Seven of those involve domestic violence. 
 
By comparison, LMPD says of the 107 homicides investigated in 2017 just 9 of those were domestic violence related. 

Chief Conrad said its hard to pinpoint a cause for the increase, but he's hopeful that spreading the word about how people in abusive relationships can get assistance will help. 

"I hope and pray its an anomaly. I hope and pray this is not a trend that is going to continue, but because we don't know. One thing we can rely upon is making sure that victims in abusive relationships know how to get help," he said.

Arrests have been made in 6 of the 7 domestic violence homicides. The one without an arrest has been sent to the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for review.

For several years, LMPD has partnered with the Center for Women and Families that allows officers in certain situations to immediately contact the center to get help for victims of domestic violence. 

"When an officer encounters someone with a high risk of lethality, the officer will immediately call the Center for Women and Families," Conrad said. 

"When that program was implemented, it provided a valuable, powerful tool for officers to really go into a domestic violence situation and act," said Jeanine Tripplet, Vice-President Development & Communications for the Center for Women and Families. 

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