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Alicia L. Aiken, JD
(Previously recorded on January 28, 2020)
Fatality Review teams are an important, strategic community response to reducing relationship violence and homicides. But when your team is reviewing a case, how do you know what confidential information you can or cannot access? Finding the answer will require a review of federal, state and local laws controlling disclosure of the information. Led by Alicia Aiken, Director of Danu Center’s Confidentiality Institute, this 90 minute webinar will walk through a tool that helps local Fatality Review teams assess whether and how they can access legally protected information and how they should manage that information once they have it.
Dr. Neil Websdale
(Previously recorded on April 2, 2019)
Dr. Websdale will define mass and spree killing and explain the differences between familicidal, felonious, and non-felony related forms of these offenses. The Webinar will concentrate on two forms of “public” mass and spree killings. The first form consists of those cases where the complex dynamics of domestic violence are of central significance and appear to be the principal precipitant of the killings. These cases involve offenders killing former or current spouses/partners and/or those such as family law attorneys, allied professionals, and/or friends who may have supported the spouse or partner. The second form involves those public mass killings, usually shootings, where domestic violence forms but one aspect of the case but may nevertheless be central to developing an understanding of the killings. Dr. Websdale will use case illustrations to flesh out themes across case types, examining, for example, the gendering of these offenses, the signaling of offenses, histories of intimate terrorism, planning and preparation, the possible role of mental illness, the social isolation of offenders, fascination and proficiency with weaponry, threatening changes in the life circumstances of offenders, and the role of suicidal feelings, depression, rage, extreme hatred, and vengefulness.
Dr. Neil Websdale
(Previously recorded on April 17, 2020)
The Webinar commences with a discussion of various perspectives (advocacy, judicial, family law attorneys, court administrator, intimate partner violence victim/survivor) on family court systems. Dr. Websdale addresses the significance of intimate partner violence in family court, the importance of assessing the extent, context, and meaning of such violence, and the relevance and possible usefulness of such risk assessments. He then explores the kinds of behaviors emblematic of so-called “intimate terrorism” and other more dangerous forms of intimate partner violence, before examining the utility of specific risk assessment tools, the ethics of their deployment, and the problems associated with their use.
Dr. Neil Websdale and Dr. Kathleen Ferraro
(Previously recorded on May 15, 2018)
Neil Websdale and Kathleen Ferraro explore the benefits and practicalities of collateral interviews to expand our understanding of the lives of victims and perpetrators in fatality reviews. They discuss interviewing family members of decedents and perpetrators, male and female perpetrators of intimate partner homicide, survivors in cases of near-death, and others such as neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Their analysis includes coverage of the possible role of trauma in the interviewing process and ways in which interview data contribute to the overall process of domestic violence fatality review.
Dr. Neil Websdale
(Previously recorded on May 3, 2018)
Neil Websdale explores the historical origins of domestic violence fatality review, the philosophies that informed its development, the geographical spread of teams, team membership and the involvement of community members and those close to victims and perpetrators, the practicalities of reviewing cases, the outcomes of review work including report writing, and the relationship between our interventions into cases of intimate partner violence and declining rates of intimate partner homicide.
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.