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Meaningful Legislation Proposed by AG Coffman Will Now Improve Prevention Strategies to Advance Domestic Violence Response and Intervention

 

DENVER- Today Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman joined survivors and advocates at the signing of  SB17-126, which will create a statewide domestic violence fatality review board to examine cases of domestic violence in Colorado that resulted in one or more fatalities. The goal of the domestic violence fatality review process is to learn from tragedy by looking at the complex dynamics when a fatality occurs in order to determine how to prevent future tragedies of intimate partner violence. The findings can be integrated into training for professionals, utilized to improve intervention efforts, and to help determine what revised policies may be needed across the state.

The board will evaluate all the circumstances surrounding a death including what was happening in the home, in school, and at work, as well as any contact with law enforcement, the judicial system, advocates, mental health treatment, or any other potential point of intervention.

The members of the board will represent a wide cross-section of Colorado including: domestic violence survivors; social service providers; healthcare and medical representatives; government entities; and law enforcement.

“Colorado is blessed to have incredible community leaders who work tirelessly to prevent the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault in our state,” said Attorney General Coffman. “As government representatives, domestic violence advocates and citizens, we must always be asking ourselves what we can do better. I believe that by working collaboratively with a diverse group from across our state, the review board will help us better understand the root causes of domestic violence in our communities, and help prevent these unthinkable tragedies from happening in the future.”

The Denver Metro Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee has been in existence since 1995, but until now there has not been a state-level review board.

“Since 2008 we have lost at least 330 lives to domestic violence in Colorado,” said Dora Lee Larson Co-Chair of the Denver Metro Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee. “The creation of this statewide review board is critically important, and represents years of work that has been done by the metro review committee as well as other domestic violence prevention advocates. I am hopeful that communities around the state will use this opportunity to form their own local review teams which will greatly help to inform the work of the statewide board.”

In July of 2015, Attorney General Coffman held the first of several domestic violence and sexual assault prevention convenings with representatives from 25 different advocacy and service organizations including, state and local government and non-profit organizations, with a goal to collaboratively evaluate what Colorado could be doing to better prevent and respond to domestic violence and sexual assault in our communities. Today’s signing of SB17-126 is a direct result of their work and the recommendations they made.

SB17-126 was sponsored by Senator Bob Gardner, Senator Lucia Guzman, Representative Yeulin Willett and Representative Millie Hamner.

A photo from today’s bill signing for SB17-126 is attached.

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CONTACT
Annie Skinner
Colorado Attorney General’s Office
720-508-6553 or Annie.skinner@coag.gov