Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Law and Domestic Murder: How State Mandated Fatality Review Boards use data by Sara Niles

Love, Marriage and Murder, are words that are normally not closely associated in the average mind, although those words become the sad reality of many relationships in which there is serious domestic violence, or violence with the threat of permanent physical harm or death. The patterns that are present in domestic homicides have been used in the past, and are currently still used to provide research data that is useful in the construction of legal protections geared toward preventing future domestic homicides.  

The most serious consequences stemming from domestic violence against partners and children is the murder of victims, domestic homicide, which, in many cases involve the murder of children as well, often with the abuser committing suicide either by cop, or at their own hand immediately after the murders.

The National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative
South Carolina had the most domestic homicides, with male partners killing female victims in 2013, with more than double the national average:

Fatality Review Boards were established for most states in the year 2004.
The data uses information leading up to the homicide to identify gaps in governmental programs that is examined by a state appointed review team such as the following:

“The review teams are comprised of representatives from government agencies, including prosecutors, public defenders, judges, police, medical examiners, emergency room doctors, court psychologists, corrections or probation officers, child protection workers, school social workers, etc. The teams also include strong representation from domestic violence advocates and from the community.”
From Stop Violence Against Women

Arizona Fatality Review suggests the uses patterns to aid in the cross-coordination of agency efforts between law enforcement and supporting agencies:

Presently the biggest gap is implementing the valuable data into useful law.