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Title:Domestic violence fatality review teams: collaborative efforts to prevent intimate partner femicide
Author(s):Watt, Kelly A.
Director of Research:Allen, Nicole E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Allen, Nicole E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Diener, Carol I.; Fitzgerald, Louise F.; Oswald, Ramona F.; Rappaport, Julian
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):intimate partner violence
domestic violence fatality review teams
collaborative settings
Abstract:Intimate partner femicide, the murder of a woman by her current or former partner, is a serious international problem. Given the gravity of intimate partner femicides, domestic violence fatality review teams have emerged in the North America as collaborative settings aimed at understanding and preventing them. Although domestic violence fatality review teams have been developed rapidly and widely, little is known about the nature of these teams or whether and how these teams actually prevent intimate partner femicide. The goals of this study were to: (1) describe the goals, structures, processes and outcomes of domestic violence fatality review teams; and, (2) identify the critical tensions or issues navigated by these collaborative efforts. The study consisted of three phases. The first phase involved a review relevant literature, discussion with experts in the field, and anecdotal experiences of team members. The second phase involved in-depth interviews with key informants and review of the most recent reports from 35 teams in the United States and Canada to gain a systematic understanding of them. At least one team was recruited from every state or province in which teams were active. Data were analyzed using frequency and content analysis. The third phase involved the use of case study methodology to obtain rich descriptive information about a subset of three teams. The analyses revealed a great deal of diversity across teams with respect to goals, structures, processes, and outcomes, but considerable similarity with respect to critical tensions or issues faced by teams. These tensions included no blame or shame versus accountability, freedom of information versus individual right to privacy, betterment versus empowerment, biography versus epidemiology, and understanding versus action. Both the diverse nature of these settings and their navigation of tensions appeared to reflect how teams attempted to promote systems change and, ultimately, how well-positioned they were to achieve this end. The findings have broader implications for our understanding of how collaborative settings operate, particularly with regard to the implicit and explicit choices they make regarding critical tensions. Understanding the diversity of collaborative settings and the processes underlying their efforts is important for informing future theory and research about collaborative settings and to facilitate improvements to practice and policy in this area.
Issue Date:2010-05-19
Rights Information:© 2010 Kelly A. Watt
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-19
Date Deposited:May 2010

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