The list of homicides on the Web site of the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence includes 80 people killed just last year by sons and stepsons, boyfriends and ex-boyfriends, uncles and cousins, husbands, wives, police officers, and suicide, says the Arizona Republic. Victim advocate Doreen Nicholas of Phoenix says that under a new state law, Arizona communities can create fatality review teams to study the deaths in detail and recommend improvements in the system that is supposed to prevent them.
Arizona had 106 domestic-violence-related deaths as recently as 2000, and the number has been dropping since then. Domestic-violence deaths are not subject to any kind of reporting requirement, making it hard to know whether all actually are counted. Even for those who survive domestic violence, “it’s a tough issue,” said Amy St. Peter of the Maricopa Association of Governments. “If you look at all the hoops people have to jump through, it is incredibly stressful and dangerous.” Review teams are being created throughout the United States. Arizona teams will be made up of law enforcement, victim services representatives victims, and anyone else who can shed light on what happened and why.