2007 Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Report

2007 Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Report

by NationTalk on September 22, 20081790 Views

Fifth Annual Report of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee

Message from the Chair

The Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) of the Office of the Chief Coroner experienced another busy year of case reviews in 2007, with the total number reaching a modest, all-time high of fifteen cases comprising twenty-four deaths. Regrettably, there continue to be roughly thirty incidents in Ontario annually where at least one domestic homicide results. Many of these cases may be deferred for years prior to review by the Committee, as the matter may be before the courts for criminal prosecution.Readers of this report are reminded that, in keeping with the defined mandate of the DVDRC (see Appendix A), the reviews are restricted to situations where a homicide has taken place that involves a person and/or his/her child(ren) committed by the person’s intimate partner or ex-partner. The homicide(s) may be followed by the suicide of the perpetrator. Due to resource and time limitations, the Committee does not review attempted homicides or cases where the only manner of death was suicide (i.e. no homicide took place).

As the number of reviewed cases and our cumulative database expands, the DVDRC notes that many issues and themes seem to recur from case to case, and consequently, we feel an obligation to repeat recommendations that have been made with previous cases and previous annual reports. As with last year’s report, the Committee has attempted to direct recommendations to the agencies, organizations and ministries deemed mostly likely suitable to respond.

While the Office of the Chief Coroner anticipates that the same careful consideration should be given to Committee recommendations as is given to inquest jury recommendations, we have no mechanisms to measure implementation or success. On the fifth anniversary of the DVDRC’s operations, we feel it would be worthwhile for a government inter-ministerial committee to conduct an audit of responses to recommendations, in an attempt to better understand the magnitude of the impact the work of the Committee is having. This recommendation is highlighted in Chapter One of this report.

The findings and recommendations of the Committee are dependent on the quality of the investigation into the incident, and documentation provided by police services, Children’s Aid Societies, medical and mental health professionals, and all support agencies that might have been involved in providing services. It is critically important that in-depth reviews be carried out by local agencies, whether there are likely to be criminal prosecutions or not. The support to the Committee and cooperation provided by all agencies involved in domestic violence prevention is acknowledged and greatly appreciated.

William J. Lucas, MD CCFP
Regional Supervising Coroner
Chair, Domestic Violence Death Review Committee

>Download 2007 Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Report.

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