PHILADELPHIA - Gun violence and homicides are on the rise in Philadelphia and that includes crimes against women.
As investigators searched the streets in West Philadelphia for a suspect in the brutal sexual assault of a woman on South 4th Street, police say this crime is just the latest in a disturbing increase in violent crime against women.
From the West Philly sex assault to the recent firebombing of a home belonging to two women and the murder of a woman in Frankford, the dramatic surge in violent crimes against women has police and women like Victoria Merino searching for answers.
"Those are ridiculous numbers. I don't know where it comes from. It's just like this insane level of violence," Merino said.
Statistics obtained by FOX 29 show the number of female murder victims has skyrocketed from four last year at this time to 22 this year. Shootings involving women victims have also increased from 32 last year to 80 so far in 2021.
Chief Frank Vanore says the department is analyzing crime data on a daily basis trying to detect potential patterns of violence towards women in the hopes of preventing it from occurring in the future.
Police say they look for trends, potential suspects, links and social media. Investigators for the Special Victims Unit say they are working on some leads that came in after the sketch of that sexual assault suspect was released.
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