GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Domestic-related homicides are almost halfway to the number we saw in 2022.

In the first three months of the year, leaders with the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence have tracked 22 in the state.

Seven of the deaths happened in Guilford County, and the county is at the top for the number of deaths.

Four of the domestic homicides happened inside a home in High Point where police say a father killed his wife and three children on Jan. 7.

He ended up taking his life.

“This is heartbreaking. These are families. These are people, not just numbers,” said Kathleen Lockwood with NCCADV.

The victims are children, parents and lovers.

“These homicides span over eleven counties in our state, and this is a really stark increase than what we normally see for this time of year,” Lockwood said.

Lockwood and her team with the NCCADV use media reports to track domestic-related homicide cases throughout the state.

There is a trend they are watching.

“For the last few years, folks have been reaching out when extreme violence has entered their homes, and they are reaching out for the first time…a much higher strain on resources for service providers when that happens,” Lockwood said.

In Guilford County, there were four domestic homicides in 2021. There was one in 2022. There have been seven of them early into 2023.

Sondra Phelps helps victims at Family Services of the Piedmont.

“We might see 20 people on Monday and might not see anyone on Tuesday,” Phelps said.

The non-profit handled a 2,000-person increase from 2021 to 2022.

“The hugest need we have in our community right now is housing…a lot of folks are having a really hard time escaping that situation because there is nowhere to go or they can’t afford to go to what’s available,” Phelps said.

At this rate, we could be on pace to reach more than 100 domestic homicides this year.

“I would love if we could spend the next few months out there getting the word out saying, ‘we’re here to help. Here’s how you can escape and leave these situations you’re in’ and just get more people in to get more help,” Phelps said.

One thing leaders of these organizations need to save lives is money.

They count on the government to fund the lifesaving work they do.

If you know someone looking for crisis services for domestic violence survivors, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Someone is available whenever you need them.