“Strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence “(Strack and Gwinn, 2011). In fact, one study explains that a victim whom is strangled by their partner is seven times more likely to die as a result of domestic violence homicide (Glass, et al, 2007). So, it came as no surprise when in 2010 aggravated assault by strangulation in domestic violence became a Class 4 felony in AZ (ARS-13-1204B). Yet, in 2010-2011 Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) only had a 14% filing rate. They recognized the need for change and collaborated with the Scottsdale Healthcare Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNE) to create a 24/7 multidisciplinary team response to victims of domestic violence strangulation. In addition, improved training for first responders and prosecutors was provided. A six month pilot program (December 2011-May 2012) in which 71 patients from two law enforcement agencies were examined by Scottsdale Healthcare Forensic Nurse Examiners. These 71 domestic violence strangulation cases had a conviction rate of 64%; a 50% increase. As a result, the program was implemented for all law enforcement agencies in Maricopa County June 1, 2012.
This presentation by Ms. Karyn Rasile will discuss the partnership of MCAO and Scottsdale Healthcare FNEs and the steps needed to implement this innovative program as well as where we are now after two years.