Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Public Awareness

Bulletins - Winter 2013 OPDV Bulletin

Table of Contents


NYS Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team

The Omnibus Bill signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on October 25, 2012 established the NYS Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team to be run out of the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.  This provision of the legislation goes into effect on April 23, 2013.

Domestic violence fatality review involves the close examination of domestic violence related deaths by a multi-disciplinary team which includes reviewing case records, interviewing responders, friends and family of the parties involved in the case, and creating a timeline of events.  The goal of fatality review is not to find fault or blame any individual or agency, but to look at ways to improve our system response as a whole with an eye toward preventing similar outcomes in the future.

The NYS team is made up of state agency representatives as well as local systems professionals.  It is anticipated that the team will conduct two intensive reviews a year.  Reviews will take place in the communities where the homicide occurred to allow the team to work with the local responders who were involved in the case.  This is important to help the team understand the local dynamics that may have had an effect on the case.

According to the legislation, communities can refer cases to the fatality review team for possible review.  Cases must be closed and/or not under investigation (i.e., murder/suicide cases).  If you are interested in referring a case to the team, or for more information on the NYS Fatality Review Team, please visit the OPDV website.