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.

Law enforcement partners at the Nashville Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Annual “Meet Us At the Bridge Event” where domestic violence homicide victims lives are honored

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) Workplace domestic violence policies should be policy in all workplaces.
  • 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.

Statistics:

  • In 2018, there were 13 domestic violence murders and 77% 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/assault with the firearm.
  • 5 or 38% of these murders were part of a murder-suicide or attempted murder-suicide.  This continues a deadly pattern of increased murder-suicides in Nashville identified in 2017.

DADRT Purpose

In accordance with Executive Order No. 016 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 associations 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 Review Teams

OFS provides technical assistance to developing teams throughout the state of Tennessee.  The map below shows the current operating or emerging teams in the state.  If you are interested in starting a team or developing your existing team, please contact our team at OFSHighRiskTeams@jis.nashville.org.