The Salvation Army Women and Children’s Shelter takes in 1,300 mothers and their children a year, 1,100 of which are fleeing abusive situations. “We have fought very hard… to see that clients are being served,” says Associate Director of the Shelter Dena Simpson. Because of Simpson’s experience at the Shelter she has been asked to be a member of Marion County’s new Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT).
The launching of the DVFRT was announced Feb. 18, 2010 and the date also marked the first case being reviewed. Only the fourth team of its kind in the state, the DVFRT’s purpose is to review cold cases deemed a domestic violence homicide to associate trends and patterns within these cases.
The goal is to also review the social services for domestic violence and “to see what is working and what is not working,” says Simpson. The team can then make suggestions to help reduce the number of domestic violence fatalities.
The Salvation Army has become the lead agency for the DVFRT. As lead agency they will help with the organization and process of the team to make it as efficient as possible.
The 15 members of the DVFRT have diverse experiences on the topic of domestic violence and come from different professional backgrounds. Members range from the DVFRT Chair and Marion County Chief Deputy Coroner Alfie Ballew to the Honorable David Certo from Marion County’s Superior Court and Dr. Edward Bartkus of the IU School of Medicine. The team was created through the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative in accordance with Indiana Law.