Monthly Archives: March 2013

Domestic Violence Top Cause of Homicides in Affluent County

FAIRFAX, Va. – Victims of domestic violence often hide their abuse from family, friends and the police. But it’s the leading cause of homicides in affluent Fairfax County, according to a new report released this week.

Eight of the 14 homicides in Fairfax County in 2009 stemmed from a family dispute and most of the victims were women.

A 2012 review by a special committee the Board of Supervisors established found that only three of the victims ever contacted police and only one had a protective order prior to dying. The Fairfax County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team reviewed only 2009 homicides.

The Fairfax County review of domestic violence-related homicides also found the following:

  • 63 percent of the domestic violence deaths involved guns;
  • 38 percent involved stalking prior to the homicide;
  • 25 percent of the homicide victims also were victims of domestic violence in previous relationships;
  • 75 percent of the perpetrators were men;
  • 40 was the average age of the victims;
  • 45 was the average age of the offenders;
  • 50 percent of the homicide victims expressed beliefs their partners had the capability to kill them;
  • 50 percent of the offenders threatened to kill the victims before the homicides;
  • None of the victims sought help from domestic violence advocacy services.

Fairfax is among the nation’s richest counties with a median household income of $105,409 in 2011.

In the county’s most recent homicide, a Reston woman was found dead inside her burning home. Her husband was found dead two days later of an apparent suicide in Texas.

Four of the 2009 homicides were accompanied by the offender’s own suicide, according to the report.

Full story

Abused Women Who Used Domestic Violence Services Almost Never Victims of Murder

Source Newsroom: Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Newswise — Nearly 2,000 people are murdered by domestic partners each year in the United States. It is a sobering statistic, especially in the face of groundbreaking education and support programs proven to prevent intimate-partner violence. “Abused women who used domestic violence services were almost never the victim of murder or attempted murder,” said Jacquelyn C. Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON).

The issue has been getting that word out. Through a U.S. Department of Justice grant, JHUSON, the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center of Massachusetts, and the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence will work together to do just that. Each brings a proven or promising model for identifying those at high risk of violence by their partners and connecting them with services that could save their lives.

• The Danger Assessment Tool is the risk predictor most frequently used to assess the likelihood of intimate partner homicide. It was developed by Campbell in 1985 as a method of working directly with victims of domestic violence to understand their risks and plan for safety.

• The Maryland Lethality Assessment Program uses the Danger Assessment Tool to screen victims at crime scenes, at protective order hearings, and in hospital emergency rooms. If a victim screens in as high risk for serious injury or homicide, the first responder immediately calls the local 24-hour domestic violence hotline and encourages the victim to talk to a counselor.

• The Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) created by the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center includes representatives from victim services, probation, law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, batterer intervention programs, and local hospitals. The team uses the Danger Assessment Tool to identify victims at the greatest risk of serious injuries or homicide and then develops individualized intervention plans to interrupt the cycle of violence.

The Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative grant, or HPI, is administered by the Office on Violence Against Women as part of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, which faces a fight for renewal in Congress this year.

“This funding will allow us to educate others on how to administer the Danger Assessment Tool to victims/survivors and help to save lives,” said Campbell, Anna D. Wolf chair at JHUSON and national director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars.

Full story and source

SHARE, Inc. Recognizes International Women’s Day

iwd1Each year around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. Many groups around the world choose different themes each year relevant to global and local gender issues.

On International Women’s Day, as throughout the year, S.H.A.R.E., Inc. Domestic Violence Program focuses on prevention and intervention in domestic violence.

“Violence against women is a global problem that crosses all cultural, social, economic and national boundaries,” said Jan Schiller,  S.H.A.R.E. Executive Director.  “Part of our effort to prevent domestic violence includes working with other domestic violence and sexual assault programs and the schools to provide information to middle and high school students about healthy relationships and alternatives to violence.”

Schiller said the Teen Dating Violence Prevention activities are being stepped up this year through a collaboration with Help for Abused Partners in Sterling to reach more students in Kit Carson, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma Counties, in addition to Logan and Morgan.

Some facts about the global problem of violence against women:

Organizations around the world will focus during International Women’s Day on the many impacts from violence against women and girls, including:

  • Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16.
  • Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
  • Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
  • Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18
  • As many as one in four women experience physical or sexual violence during pregnancy.
  • Women and girls make up 80% of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked across national borders annually, with 79%of them trafficked for sexual exploitation.