Speaker: Dr. Peter Jaffe, Ph.D.
Domestic homicides appear predictable and preventable with hindsight. Some of this hindsight has come from various death review processes across Canada, the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand that have developed in the past two decades. Ontario has had a death review committee through the Office of the Chief Coroner since 2003. These reviews by interdisciplinary committees shed light on what transpired and make recommendations on how to prevent the same outcome in similar circumstances in the future. These reviews often highlight patterns of known risk factors prior to the homicide as well as shortcomings in inter-agency collaboration with health, social services, and education and justice professionals. There may be multiple systems and organizations who miss opportunities to share information and develop effective intervention strategies in the community and the justice system. This presentation outlines the often-repeated lessons learned from these tragedies that include the need for enhanced professional and public education to save lives. Domestic violence is everybody's business, and we need to find better ways to inform each other and work together.