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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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5/5/2013 9:56:00 PM
Domestic violence fatality review team could prevent future incidents, say officials
Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk and Sheriff Scott Mascher will present a resolution today, May 6, to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors about creating a domestic violence fatality review team.

In Arizona, about 100 people die each year from domestic violence, Prescott Police Chief Jerald Monahan said.

"We believe we can make a difference, and prevent deaths in the future," said Monahan, who has helped create these teams in other communities with the Governor's Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women.

Review teams aim to prevent domestic violence homicide, increase victims' safety, improve coordinated response, and hold perpetrators accountable, according to the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review based in Flagstaff.

Statistics show that in the United States, one in four women experience domestic violence in her lifetime. In Arizona, children witness a domestic violence incident every 44 minutes. Prescott Valley Police's Family Violence Unit handled 795 cases in 2012, up from 691 in 2011.

"The purpose of a domestic violence fatality or near-fatality review team is to complete an analysis of the case to determine what we can learn about the dynamics of the situation," Polk said. "Were there resources that could have been called in to help? Could it have been prevented? Are there ways we can improve the system so this does not happen again?"

If approved, the Yavapai County review team would be the 11th in the state, Monahan said.

Polk said the teams are part of a national effort to raise awareness about domestic violence.

"There's so much we can take from it to help us build a stronger safety network and see what we can do to get people to seek help earlier," Polk said.






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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Article comment by: Jackie Miller

DV issues usually involve both the woman and child. Since men have an advantage over women, this is a serious problem for both. DV against men usually involve women defending themselves. Statistics don't lie.

Posted: Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Article comment by: PR for Sheila and new chief

That's all this is. DV has been taken to extremes- I've worked with it and seen it first hand. I agree with the vast majority of the posters. There ARE legitimate cases of DV that need to be addressed. The rest, most of the cases, are hyped up. Maybe Sheila wants to be governor.

Posted: Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Article comment by: A Simple Question

How about just working to prevent all homicides and reviewing all of them to see what can be done better? Is a domestic violence homicide some how worse than any other? I guess some people are just more important to the local law enforcement community than others. And, it sounds like the new Chief is a real politician, and that's no compliment.

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: Carl Imparel

100 die every year seems more are murdered without the DV tag, die in horrible car crashes, and are drive by Victims. Seems there are lots more of them...

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: @ the real abuse

Wonder what it feels like to read the same comment you made four years ago, knowing these two didn't care then.

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Whitney

This Domestic Violence issue is starting to resemble the Salem Witch Hunts.

Murder is pretty much always against the law. How is killing a fellow human within the context of a domestic relationship different from one that occurs without?

And speaking of Domestic Violence in general:

Think you need to rough up your spouse to be charged? HA!

Try "Making an unreasonable noise" while having an argument with your wife/husband/same sex partner...

How about "Using a telephone to annoy" said loved one...

Off t' jail ya go.

The problem is, that EVERYTHING that constitutes domestic violence, WAS ALREADY A CRIME before the DV statutes were enacted. (Just like the "Hate Crime" statutes.)

Remember: We have the government we deserve.



Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: DragonMaster 6

After growing up in Reservations and logging camps there was not a day where my father, Mother, uncles, aunts brothers and sisters were not involved in fighting for our lives because of shooting, knives, frying pans, and anything else that could be used as a weapon, to what is now referred to as, "Domestic Violence!" When my father came home from Korea he was a violent drunk and so was everyone else. I, my brothers and sister were able to survive and escape from this pattern in our own ways but in the process we lost two brothers. My suggestion to domestic violence is to completely dissolve the nuclear family and let each member make life on their own as there is no cure for domestic violence except to remove the combatants. Been there and done that!!!

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: Catherine Koon

When my daughter was killed through Domestic Violence, we found out that there were times when a restraining order didn't seem to count for much with the local authorities. My daughter begged for help . We also found out that there was a huge breakdown between the hospitals(plural) that she went to for her injuries and the Police Dept. Aren't the police supposed to be notified when there is suspected abuse?

My daughters murder happened in Oregon. But these questions are still valid here..


Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: In Truth

Proactivity in the area of domestic violence amounts to a feel-good exercise for officialdom, for in reality all they can do is respond to DV incidents. Group analysis of the problem provides nothing which can deter these incidents. Furthermore, DV victims are almost always too afraid of their abuser to say anything to authorities, and also too dependent upon the abuser for their financial support. It is unfortunate, but the beat goes on. God bless those who are strong enough to break away, and God bless Stepping Stones and others who are waiting to help them.

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: The real abuse.

What about violence against men? There are many, many resources for women, but very few ..if any for the abuse men suffer, both physical and emotional.

Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: PANT must be loosing its PR value

Why not, there's no success like failure,
Might want to do a background check on team members, not for anything to do with guns or violence, it's the ridiculous nickname/call signs, these guys choose for themselves, nobody wants to hear those after it's too late.
It's hard to have any confidence in these people, they've been on the front lines for what, two days or two decades? Hell, even if they couldn't see it, they should have been smelling the skunk years ago.


Posted: Monday, May 06, 2013
Article comment by: Only in Yavapai County

This whole domestic violence thing is already way out of control, not the actual violence part but lumping everyone into the DV category. You can't even raise your voice to anyone anymore without being branded as a DV offender, it's out of control.
This new "review team" sounds like just another way to get more people into these useless DV classes that are for the most part only a waste of time and money. I'm going through this right now due to protecting myself against my girlfriends 18 year old son. HE WAS NOT HURT but he cried to the police and that's all it took in PV for DV to be charged and the money starts flowing, mine.
Not to be cynical but I really don't think the dead person really cares at that point. So my suggestion is to focus more resources on actual DV cases and not the ones where Joe argues with his neighbor and drunk neighbor calls the police and Joe gets branded as a DV offender now and is forced to endure all that goes with the DV conviction.




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