Alaska assembles team to review fatality in domestic violence

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 4:14 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The state of Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) has created its first Alaska Statewide Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.

According to a press release on February 2nd, the team will “analyze select cases from around Alaska where an individual is either killed or nearly killed due to domestic violence.”

Megan Peters, Communications Director for the DPS, explained, “It’s no secret that Alaska has a domestic violence problem. It’s been a long-standing issue and there’ve been multiple people across the state over a long period of time trying to make improvements to where we eliminate the problem of domestic violence, and each tiny step forward is a big deal and it goes to helping. This is just one more of those steps.”

Peters went on to say, “We’re hoping that by taking a very in-depth, deep dive into these cases from multiple valuable viewpoints, we can potentially identify some gaps on what could be done better or what’s been missed, where there could’ve been potential intervention, or perhaps even preventative efforts or education that could’ve been provided. At what point is there a spot where potentially we could’ve made a difference and had a different outcome?”

The next step in the team’s process is to develop criteria for which cases will be reviewed, and potentially coordinating with local entities to provide services.

Peters said, “It’s not about saying that somebody did something wrong. It’s about saying, ‘What is there that we’re missing? Where is a gap in service, and how are we going to potentially address that gap to better improve the lives of Alaskans all across the state?’ And a solution in one part of the state might not be the same for a solution in a different part of the state.”

More information about domestic violence in Alaska, as well as resources for those who may be experiencing domestic violence, can be found here.

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