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Sixth Annual Report of the Office of the Chief Coroner Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Released

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Sixth Annual Report of the Office of the Chief Coroner Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Released

Dr. William Lucas, Regional Supervising Coroner for Central Region, Brampton Office, and Chair of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, today announced the release of the Sixth Annual Report of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC).

The DVDRC is a multi-disciplinary advisory committee of experts that was established in 2003 in response to recommendations made from two major inquests into the deaths of Arlene May, Randy Iles, and Gillian and Ralph Hadley. The mandate of the DVDRC is to assist the Office of the Chief Coroner with the investigation and review of deaths involving domestic violence with a view to making recommendations aimed at preventing deaths in similar circumstances and reducing domestic violence in general.

"By conducting a thorough and detailed examination and analysis of facts within individual cases, the DVDRC strives to develop a comprehensive understanding of why domestic homicides occur and how they might be prevented," said Dr. Lucas.

The annual report includes a synopsis of 15 cases reviewed and 33 recommendations made by the committee in 2008.

As part of the review, the DVDRC identifies risk factors that were present and identifiable within the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. Deaths in similar circumstances may be prevented by families, the public, law enforcement, judicial and social service individuals and organizations identifying the same risk factors within relationships, and addressing them promptly before a tragedy occurs.

An analysis of all deaths reviewed since 2003 reveals that 86 per cent of the cases involved seven or more risk factors. The most common risk factors include actual or pending separation between the deceased and the perpetrator, a history of domestic violence, obsessive behaviour and depression.

Recommendations made by the DVDRC are aimed towards the prevention of similar deaths and are distributed to agencies and organizations who are in a position to affect implementation.

Additional Resources

Media Contacts

  • Dr. William Lucas

    Chair of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee

    (905) 874-3972

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