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Fatality Review

Connecticut has averaged fourteen (14) deaths resulting from intimate partner violence each year over the past decade. Domestic violence homicide is not diminishing in our state, rather over the last decade the number has remained steady from year to year.

Led by CCADV, the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee was established in 2001 and works to prevent future deaths by conducting multi-disciplinary, systemic examinations of intimate partner fatalities that occur in our state. A retrospective examination of individual fatalities allows the Committee to comprehensively analyze the strengths and challenges of the community's response to domestic violence. The review process does not and will not assign blame for fatalities to individuals, agencies or institutions; the perpetrator of the homicide is assumed to be ultimately responsible for the death.

The objectives of the Committee are to:

  • Enhance the safety of victims and accountability of batterers
  • Identify systemic gaps and barriers to service
  • Implement coordinated community response      
  • Influence public policy for prevention and intervention of domestic violence

Reviews of violent intimate partner fatalities are done in a confidential, reflective, and culturally-sensitive environment that will lead to meaningful recommendations for positive social and systems change. The Committee's recommendations, along with aggregate case findings, are highlighted in reports designed to promote positive change through training, prevention, education, and legislative advocacy.

The Committee defines a domestic violence fatality as a death that arises from an individual's efforts to assert power and control over his/her intimate partner. Cases chosen for review by the Committee include homicides in which the victim was an intimate partner or former intimate partner of the individual responsible for the homicide and all criminal and civil matters pertaining to the victim and perpetrator are closed with no pending appeals.

Members of the Committee represent key stakeholders including: domestic violence providers, victim family members, law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, victim service providers, batterer intervention providers, advocates, and CT Departments of Children & Families, Correction, Public Health, and Social Services.

The Committee currently uses a subcommittee structure to help enhance its effectiveness:

Domestic Violence Fatality Case Review 

This subcommittee will select and review adjudicated intimate partner homicides as well as murder-suicides using available case documentation and public sources of information. Putting aside issues of blame, the goal is to identify gaps and barriers in systems of assistance and accountability in order to draft recommendations to improve response and ultimately prevent future deaths.

Critical Event Case Review 

This subcommittee will conduct examinations of the facts and circumstances surrounding near fatal incidents of domestic violence. We are looking to inform our efforts to serve victims by hearing from survivors of attempted homicides and those with first-hand knowledge of the incident.

Research and Recommendations 

This subcommittee will accept assignments from the full Committee and the two case review subcommittees to research topics or gather information in order to inform deliberations and assist in the development of recommendations. Additionally, recommendations from the Committee's prior reports will be revisited and ideas to support their implementation will be explored, as appropriate.

Annual DVFR Committee Findings & Recommendations

2014      2013       2012       2011

For more information about the CT Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, please contact Nancy Turner, Director of Offender Risk Reduction, at (860) 282-7899 or nturner@ctcadv.org.