National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative Webinar Series 

Domestic Violence Fatality Review: State of the Art

Dr. 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.

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The Role of Collateral Interviews in Conducting Fatality Reviews

Dr. Kathleen Ferraro explores the benefits and practicalities of conducting collateral interviews to expand our understanding of the lives of victims and perpetrators in fatality reviews. She discusses 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. Her analysis includes 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.

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Intimate Partner Violence-Related Public (Non-Felony) Mass and Spree Killings

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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