Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative

The Indiana General Assembly enacted legislation enabling the creation of community domestic violence fatality review teams in 2003. The legislation informs the convention and duties of community based teams, and requires ICADV to generate a statewide fatality review report. A report identifying fatalities attributed to domestic violence for 2009-2010, describing the work of community based teams, and establishing statewide DV fatality prevention recommendations is now available:  Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report 2009-10.

Domestic violence fatality review is a deliberative process undertaken by community stakeholders with the goal of reducing or eliminating this extreme and devastating form of violence by learning as much as possible from the circumstances of each individual death. Team members collect and review data to get a longitudinal overview of the circumstances and experiences of the victim and perpetrator prior to the death. They construct a timeline identifying interventions, red flags, and gaps in services in order to identify all possible opportunities for prevention and intervention across the life spans of the victim and perpetrator.

Rather than seeking to fault individuals or agencies for a domestic violence fatality, review teams operate on a community accountability model and work collaboratively to create safer systems. By operating with a “no shame, no blame” philosophy team members seek to evaluate all of the systems (family, schools, child protection, medical, faith, workplace, law enforcement, judicial, shelter, etc) that the victim and perpetrator intersected with along the way and form recommendations to improve those systems in order to maximize opportunities to protect victims and to hold perpetrators accountable. The team then develops action plans for implementing the recommendations generated through the review process.

DVFRTs are currently organized and operating in Madison, Tippecanoe, Marion, Hendricks, Grant and St. Joseph counties in Indiana. ICADV works to train community teams, to provide technical assistance in support of their work and to report on community recommendations in the statewide report.

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