March 26, 2004

MARCH 26, 2004



            Attorney General Steven Rowe today announced the release of the biennial report of the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel, which seeks to improve community response to domestic violence (DV) by studying DV cases that end tragically in homicide.  In the last two years, the panel reviewed twelve DV homicide cases that occurred between 1998 and 2003.  The entire report can be downloaded by clicking:

            The Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel is a multidisciplinary group that reviews domestic abuse homicide cases with an eye to potential systems changes that would positively impact the lives and safety of victims of domestic violence and their children.  Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese is a homicide prosecutor and the current chair of the panel.  Marchese said, “We try to extract the lessons from each case we review.  It is difficult, but worthwhile work.  We see progress; there is hope.”

The report includes observations and recommendations that address many different community systems and groups including law enforcement, domestic violence service providers, State human services programs, the media, the healthcare system, batterer intervention programs, faith communities, and others.  The goal of the recommendations is to identify gaps in services or in communities that may have left victims more vulnerable and that may, if addressed, help prevent future homicides from occurring.  The panel's recommendations seek to enhance Maine's coordinated community response to domestic violence by focusing on victim safety and abuser accountability.

Recognizing the devastating effect of domestic violence homicides on children, the panel makes several recommendations to law enforcement, the courts, schools, and others, to increase response, services, and information to those young people who are left parentless by a domestic violence homicide, who are exposed to domestic violence, or who exhibit signs of being victims or perpetrators.

            For the first time since the panel's inception in 1997, the report also includes updates and progress on the implementation of recommendations.

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