New Brunswick saw an increase in women killed by a partner or ex-partner in 2010, according to researchers.

Deborah Doherty, the executive director of the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, said five women were killed in acts of domestic violence in 2010.

Doherty said the past year has seen a higher than average number of cases of domestic violence.

"Five women this year is perhaps a little higher than normal, but there's been other years where there have been three or four," Doherty said.

"So there have been 34 deaths in the last 20 years, so that definitely is more than one each year."

The Department of Public Safety announced last year that it had created a new 11-person domestic violence death review committee.

The committee is intended to act as an advisory body to the Office of the Chief Coroner.

The domestic violence death review committee is supposed to examine the circumstances leading up to these deaths, take note of any risk factors or trends and make recommendations.

Some deaths overlooked

Rosella Melanson, the executive director of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, said while some cases receive a lot of attention in the news and the community, murder suicides are often overlooked.

"We don't think about them enough, the other ones grab the headlines. But when we add these in, boy, that's a lot of people in New Brunswick," she said.

There are programs to help women transition out of abusive relationships that are helpful, Melanson said.

However, she said these programs are like doing first aid in an emergency room.

She said the province is treating the end result, when more work needs to be done to prevent the violence in the first place.