May 2, 2017
12:00 – 1:30 Pacific
Interviewing Perpetrators for Fatality Reviews
Perpetrators of intimate partner homicide (IPH) can provide useful insights for domestic violence fatality review teams. The purpose of interviews for fatality reviews is to help understand what led to the homicide and how the community could have helped. Dr. Neil Websdale and Dr. Kathleen Ferraro situate interviewing incarcerated killers within the research and practitioner literature addressing these issues. Both presenters have experience serving as expert witnesses in domestic violence cases, including homicides and cases involving the death penalty, as well as conducting perpetrator interviews for fatality reviews. Consequently, they recognize and address the overlap between interviewing for the purposes of informing fatality reviews and forensic interviewing, concentrating on the former not the latter. Perpetrator interviews can contribute greatly to comprehensive domestic violence fatality reviews.
Dr. Neil Websdale
Dr. Neil Websdale provides an overview of the philosophy and process of domestic violence fatality review as well as new developments in the field. He will explore emerging issues and the practical benefits of engaging in reviews.
Since its initial training by NDVFRI staff in 2000, Montana’s statewide team has implemented several unique protocols. These include diverse team membership, travel to the community in which the deaths occurred and a commitment to interviewing those closest to both the victim and perpetrator. Additionally, Montana’s team has received national recognition for its work conducting reviews in Indian Country. Recently that work culminated in the establishment of the nation’s first Native American DV fatality review team.
Expanding the Forensic Narrative: Engaging Surviving Family Members in the DV Fatality Review Process
Dr. Janet Wilson and Frank Mullane
The main purpose of reviewing domestic violence fatalities is to prevent future domestic violence and deaths. Review teams seek information about a victim’s death from multiple sources such as law enforcement, social service, and health care to identify risks, system breakdowns, and strategies to ensure safety. However, to understand what life was like for the victim and what it was like engaging with service agencies, review teams across the country and in England are also talking with those who likely knew the victim best: family, friends and community members. This webinar explores the importance of involving family/friends/community with the domestic violence fatality review process and how they have enhanced system changes and fatality prevention.
Alicia Aiken, JD
The goal of fatality review is to improve the future by examining the past. But some of the information about the past (medical, mental health, victim advocacy) is explicitly confidential. How should a fatality review team address confidentiality issues, especially when the victim is no longer present to consent to disclosure? This webinar explores the practical and legal issues, as well as best practices for successfully examining the past without inadvertently undermining privacy and safety in the present.
Dr. Neil Websdale
Dr. Websdale draws upon 20 years experience reviewing and writing about intimate partner homicide to examine what happens before these tragedies and how we might use this knowledge for safety planning and prevention. The presentation focuses on the role of various systems and community stakeholders and explores specific risk markers and the contexts within which they assume meaning.
Joan Eliel and Danna R. Jackson, J.D.
Undertaking domestic violence fatality review in Indian Country, where each federally recognized tribe is a sovereign nation, is complex. Many of the protocols fatality review teams have developed in the areas of membership, record retrieval, report writing, and inclusion of local members, for instance, are different in tribal and federal environments. Additional concerns include the need for heightened cultural sensitivity and political finesse. Presenters from the first Indian Country fatality review initiative based in the state of Montana discuss the development of the team, lessons learned and processes adopted, and the global implications of such a team.