Today the Maine Attorney General’s office released the biennial report of the Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, entitled “Building Bridges Towards Safety and Accountability.” The report is the result of a collaborative effort involving advocates, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, health care professionals, and others, who review cases of domestic violence homicide in Maine and recommend policy changes to prevent further violence.
Importantly, as the Report focuses on improving systems’ responses to domestic violence homicide, it provides an opportunity for family members who have lost loved ones to have a voice in that process of systems change. As MCEDV Executive Director and Panel Member Julia Colpitts says,
Families want their loved ones' lives and deaths to matter, to contribute knowledge so that what has happened to them does not happen to anybody else. The panel’s work moves that wish toward a reality. The Panel’s work honors victims’ lives and their deaths profoundly by learning from them with the intent of saving future lives. Our work doesn’t change the tragedy, but it offers one element of meaning.
Read Colpitts' complete remarks from the press conference here.
The report will now be shared with the legislature. It will also be sent to the Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse, which will create task groups to move forward the implementation of the report's recommendations.
To access the full report, click here.
To read the press release from the Attorney General’s Office, click here.
MCEDV Executive Director Julia Colpitts speaks at the press conference for the 2014 Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel Report