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Domestic Violence Death Review Team

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2002
15 pages
This document presents the 2002 report of the Domestic Violence Death Review Team of Sacramento County (California).
The purpose of the team is to bring together a multi-disciplinary approach to review domestic violence deaths with a view towards making recommendations to help prevent domestic violence deaths, and to develop strategies to deal with domestic violence. The team consists of members from law enforcement, medical, public health, social services, legal, coroner, child welfare, and domestic violence advocacy organizations. As of September 2002, the team has reviewed a selected 25 cases, which occurred from 1993 to 2000. Fourteen were murder-suicides, and in 1 the perpetrator later committed suicide while in custody. Eleven were murders that were later prosecuted, the prosecutions having been completed. In many cases, the team found no report to local law enforcement or social service agencies of prior domestic violence by the perpetrator. However, contacts with family members, friends, or other agencies revealed either prior attempts to report, or more formal contacts with other support, health, mental health, or law enforcement agencies in and outside the county. The team did observe instances where even extensive institutional and agency contacts and the resultant availability of many services did not prevent the final fatal violence. New recommendations include increasing the availability of shelter beds for victims of domestic violence, and training for law enforcement in making domestic violence perpetrators and victims aware of the potential consequence of domestic violence, such as the loss of custody of children. In 2001, legislation enabling the creation of a statewide forensic examination form for domestic violence victims was approved. The identification of community resources in various immigrant communities and the identification of language and cultural translation resources are being addressed as a goal for 2003. Diversity training for law enforcement is being provided regularly.