DV Fatality Review

Domestic Abuse Death Review Team (DADRT) & Statewide Review Teams

OFS manages DADRT, which is a collaborative team that meets monthly to analyze domestic violence homicide trends.  OFS creates an annual report from the collaborative team review with recommendations around improving response to domestic violence cases. OFS also provides technical assistance to developing teams throughout the state of Tennessee.

Case Review Reports:

2016 DADRT Report (click to open) reviewed a strangulation homicide between intimate partners.  Strangulation is a deadly use of force that increases a person’s risk of being killed more than 7x

 

 

 

2017 DADRT Report (click to open) reviewed a firearms murder-suicide between intimate partners.  Recommendations from the report include: 1) Murder-suicide risk should be assessed more specifically; 2) Firearms dispossession must be implemented effectively; 3) Places of employment should implement workplace domestic violence policies.

 

 

2018 DADRT Report (click to open) reviewed a familicide where the perpetrator killed his spouse and their child.  Recommendations from the report include: 1) Expanding Lethality Assessment administration; 2) Addressing Legal Manipulation by perpetrators; 3) Providing more community education & support; 4) Reframing “bullying” as abusive behavior and addressing its development from adolescence; 5) Increasing identification & support for children exposed to domestic violence.

 

 

2019 DADRT Report (click to open) reviewed a domestic violence murder-suicide in which a man murdered his long-time partner with a firearm before taking his own life. Recommendations from the report include: 1) Effective implementation of firearms dispossession; 2) Support for families impacted by violence across generations; 3) Identification and support for children impacted by domestic violence; and 4) Education for faith communities and leaders on recognizing and addressing interpersonal violence.

 

 

2020 DADRT Report (click to open) reviewed a murder-suicide case in which a 53-year-old mother of two was shot to death by her husband, who then turned the gun on himself and died by suicide. Recommendations from the report include: 1) Examining the workplace impact of domestic violence; 2) Effective implementation of firearms dispossession; and 3) Increased public awareness of domestic violence in Nashville. In addition to the case review, the Domestic Abuse Death Review Team examined the unique lessons learned from serving survivors of domestic violence through a global crisis in the section ‘COVID-19 Impacts and Implications.’

 

 

2021 DADRT Report (click to open) In 2021, DADRT reviewed a homicide case in which a 35-year-old mother of three was run over by a car driven by her boyfriend. The DADRT’s research into this case revealed a history of escalating violence that ultimately culminated in her murder. The Domestic Abuse Death Review Team identified three finding areas that may have contributed to the victim’s level of risk or impacted the support that she and her family received before her
murder. The Findings address 1) Public Awareness, 2) DV Education and Screening for Low-Level Drug Offenders, 3) Relational Risk Transfer.

 

 

 

2023 Statistics:

  • In 2023, there were 12 domestic violence murders and 67% were committed with a firearm. Offenders are 5x more likely to kill their victim if they own a firearm and 20x more likely if they’ve previously threatened/assaulted with the firearm.
  • 11 or 92% of these murders were committed against an intimate partner. 

2022 Statistics:

  • In 2022, there were 18 domestic violence murders and 50% were committed with a firearm.
  • 7 or 39% of these murders were committed against an intimate partner. 
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Additional Resources:

Overview- Domestic Violence Homicide Statistics 2021    Click Image to View or Download
Overview- Domestic Violence Homicide Statistics 2022    Click Image to View or Download
A Decade of Murders               Click Image to View or Download
Overview- Domestic Violence Homicide Statistics 2020    Click Image to View or Download
2020 Domestic Violence & Guns in Nashville Info Brief            Click Image to View or Download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DADRT Purpose

In accordance with Executive Order No. 016 issued in August 2002 by Mayor Bill Purcell (updated in 2008 by Mayor Karl Dean) and authorized by Tennessee Code Annotated §36-3-624, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville Davidson County created the Domestic Abuse Death Review Team (DADRT) to “establish an interagency domestic abuse death review team to identify and review domestic abuse deaths, including homicides and suicides, and to facilitate communication among the various agencies involved in domestic abuse cases in order to recommend improvements in the system of services to domestic abuse victims and their families, and to provide accurate information related to domestic abuse issues to the community.”

DADRT Process

DADRT does an in-depth review of 1-2 domestic violence homicides per year. Reviewed cases must be considered closed by Metro Nashville Police Department and the Nashville District Attorney’s Office and at least six months must have elapsed from the time of death in order to interview family members and other close associates of the victim and/or offender.

DADRT reviews cases to identify patterns and trends in domestic abuse, barriers to safety and justice, and gaps in service, training, policy, practice, resources, communication and collaboration.

DADRT shares its findings from the review and its recommendations in an annual report submitted to the Mayor’s Office.

DADRT Members

  • The District Attorney General of Davidson County or an assistant district attorney designated by the District Attorney General.
  • A Victim Witness Coordinator from the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office.
  • A representative from Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands to be appointed by the Mayor.
  • A representative with domestic violence expertise from the medical community to be appointed by the Mayor. (Current representative is from Vanderbilt University)
  • A representative from the Personal Crimes Division and a representative the Domestic Violence Division of the Metropolitan Police Department to be appointed by the Chief of Police.
  • The Sheriff of the Metropolitan Government or a designee of the Sheriff.
  • The Director of the Metropolitan Government Department of Health or a designee of the Director.
  • A representative of a domestic violence abuse shelter and crisis hotline provider in Davidson County to be appointed by the Mayor. (Current representative is the YWCA)
  • The Department Head for the Office of Family Safety or a designee of the Department Head.
  • A minimum of two and a maximum of three private citizens who have demonstrated an interest in reducing the incidence of domestic abuse to be appointed by the Mayor.
  • The chairperson of the Health, Hospitals and Social Services Committee of the Metropolitan Council or a designee of the chairperson.
  • A representative from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
  • Two representatives from non-profit groups that serve domestic violence victims (Current representatives are You Have The Power & Morning Star Sanctuary)

Of the voting members, a minimum of one member must be a survivor of domestic violence.


Statewide Fatal & High-Risk Domestic Violence Committee

The Statewide Fatal & High-Risk Domestic Violence Committee was formed in May of 2020 as a branch of the Metro Nashville Office of Family Safety’s Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative. The Committee was initially comprised of a small group of Family Justice Center and Domestic Violence Shelter leadership from across Tennessee and expanded in February 2021 to include a group of multi-disciplinary stakeholders representing Tennessee’s court and criminal justice systems. The Committee is currently meeting quarterly.

In keeping with the Committee’s three primary areas of focus, the Committee dedicated a significant portion of its work in 2021 to identifying prevailing systemic barriers that adversely impact survivor safety on
 a statewide level. The Committee has identified the four following findings as well as recommendations for policy and legislation changes that could improve domestic violence victim safety, increase offender accountability, and promote the prevention of domestic violence homicides on a statewide level.
  • Adhering to Firearm Dispossession State & Federal Laws
  • Consistency in Order of Protection Enforcement
  • Statewide Strangulation Response & Training
  • Domestic Violence Data Collection

Click here to read the Committee’s full 2021 report.


Additional Projects

Statewide Review Teams

OFS provides technical assistance to developing teams throughout the state of Tennessee.  During 2020 the counties below were provided resources, technical support, training, & other assistance to sustain or help create Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams. If you are interested in starting a team or developing your existing team, please contact our team at OFSHighRiskTeams@jis.nashville.org.

Meet Us at the Bridge- Honoring Domestic Violence Homicide Victims

 

Each year OFS & the DADRT assist the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence as they host the annual Meet Us at the Bridge ceremony to remember victims of domestic violence and honor those working to end it. Roses are dropped from the bridge by family members of domestic violence homicide victims during the ceremony to honor and remember their lost loved ones.