National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative Webinars for 2020

Reviewing the Murder of Susie Casey: The Process of Domestic Violence Fatality Review
Dr. Neil Websdale

April 22, 2020 12:00pm – 1:30pm (PDT)

Dr. Websdale addresses the complexities of the life and murder of Susie Casey, a Montana woman who disappeared on April 12, 2008 from Glendive, Montana, only to be found dead three weeks later. The long search for and prosecution of her killer raised many issues that the anti-domestic violence movement confronts in its day-to-day work. The case analysis renders problematic our notions of “perpetrator” and “victim.” It also challenges many of our assumptions about “battered women,” who they are, their agency, and their resistive maneuverability. Through the lens of the case, Websdale explores the philosophy of fatality review, the review process, team membership, confidentiality and privacy, the links between fatality review and risk assessment, and the outcomes of review work.

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Intimate Partner Violence-Related Public (Non-Felony) Mass and Spree Killings
Dr. Neil Websdale

May 6, 2020 12:00pm – 1:30pm (PDT)

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 “public” mass and spree killings. Dr. Websdale focuses on two types of cases: 1) Those in which the complex dynamics of intimate partner violence appear to be a significant trigger or precipitant of killings. These cases involve offenders killing or attempting to kill 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; and, 2) Those public mass killings, usually shootings, where intimate partner violence forms but one aspect of the case but may nevertheless be helpful in developing an understanding of the killings. Dr. Websdale will use case studies, illustrations, and excerpts 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.

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Domestic Violence Treatment Programs for Offenders: Exploring Research and Practice
Dr. Kathleen Ferraro and Brad Mattingly, MA, CDVC, CCTSI

May 13, 2020 12:00pm – 1:30pm (PDT)

This webinar reviews existing research on domestic violence treatment programs for offenders and offers observations from the field. The goal of the webinar is to present clearly what we know about whether DV offender treatment works and which aspects of programs are most strongly supported by research, emphasizing the importance of social contexts and real-world pragmatism. We augment the research evidence with insights from decades of work in these programs.

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Bridging the Gap Between Domestic Violence Fatality Review and Services for Child Survivors
Holly Hulen, MA and Melissa Rhodes, MSW, LCSW

June 25, 2020 10:00am – 11:30am (PDT)

Research estimates over 3300 children the US each year lose a parent to intimate partner homicide (IPH). This webinar will focus on the intersection of domestic violence fatality review (DVFR) and what happens to these children following such a particular horrific event and traumatic loss.
Though beyond the purview and mandate of the DVFR process, teams around the country have questioned what happens to the children in the aftermath of an IPH. This critical observation and concern led to the creation of The Arizona Child & Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI), a first-of-its kind victim service project that is addressing the complex needs of child IPH survivors, their caregivers, and families. Holly Hulen, ACASI Project Director, will discuss how the work of DVFR teams provided the blueprint for the ACASI project and give an overview of ACASI’s statewide, wraparound services.
Melissa Rhodes, ACASI Clinical Director, will discuss the experiences and complex needs of children who survive the loss of a parent (or both) to intimate partner homicide, and their families. She will discuss therapeutic support services and share lessons learned from the project’s four years of providing services specifically developed to meet the healing, economic stabilization and justice needs of an acutely vulnerable, underserved victim population.
We’ll conclude by making the case for a systematic national or state method for identifying child IPH victims and state or local protocols to ensure these children and their families have access to the services and support they need.

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