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Virginia Violent Death Reporting System

Background | Activities |Reports and Publications | Links | Other NVDRS Projects| Partners | Contacts


There are roughly 55,000 violent deaths per year in the United States; between 1,300 and 1,400 of these occur in Virginia.  At the same time, there is limited information about the specific circumstances of such deaths or their implications for public health planning, policy development, and injury prevention efforts.

Beginning in 2003, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner implemented the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). Funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and operating currently in 18 states, the goal of the NVDRS is to establish a national violent death surveillance system. This data system links information about violent deaths – homicides, suicides, accidental firearm deaths, legal interventions, undetermined deaths, and deaths due to acts of terrorism – from sources such as forensic pathology, law enforcement, forensic science, and vital records.

Virginia’s medical examiner system was one of the first six states, and the first state-wide medical examiner system, to implement the project.  The Virginia Violent Death Reporting System (VVDRS) is the operation and reporting system of the NVDRS within Virginia, and uses the methodology, definitions, coding schema, and software application (database) of the NVDRS.


  • Compiling all information sources from violent death investigation and correlating victims with circumstances such as drug and alcohol use, mental illness, intimate partner violence, and the other issues that lead up to and contribute to violent death.
  • Supporting government and other policy makers as they attempt to understand the extent of the violence problem, develop public health interventions, and evaluate violence prevention program efforts.
  • Educating the general public.
  • Generating timely, useful, and detailed information about violent death events at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Helping to develop and inform injury and violence prevention policy and strategies.


The following collaborative partners support the efforts of the VVDRS through resource and information sharing:

  • Division of Health Statistics, Virginia Department of Health
  • Division of Prevention and Health Promotion, Virginia Department of Health
  • Division of Vital Records, Virginia Department of Health
  • Prevent Child Abuse Virginia
  • Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Virginia Center for Public Safety
  • Virginia Department for the Aging
  • Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Virginia Department of Forensic Science
  • Virginia Department of Social Services
  • Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
  • Virginia Sheriffs’ Association and Institute
  • Virginia State Police

Reports and Publications

Suicide and Placement for Nursing Home or Hospice Care in Virginia
Published:  February, 2014

Homelessness and Violent Death
Published:  October, 2013

Homicide Across the Life Course
Published:  October, 2013

Elder Suicide in Virginia: 2003-2010
Published:  March, 2013

Violent Death in Custody: 2003-2010
Published: February, 2013

Violent Death in the Workplace
Published: November, 2012

Military-Related Suicide in Virginia: 2003-2010
Published: October, 2012

Physical Health Problems and Suicide in Virginia: 2007-2010
Published: July, 2012

Suicide Trends in Virginia: 2003-2010
Published: May, 2012

The Geography of Violent Death in Virginia:  2003-2008
Published:  November, 2011

Suicide Among College Students in Virginia:  2003-2008
Published:  November, 2011

Suicide and Criminal Legal Problems in Virginia: 2007-2008
Published: September, 2011

Suicide in the Eastern Health Planning Region: 2003-2008 (PowerPoint presentation)
Presented: June 15, 2011

Suicide in the Northern Health Planning Region: 2003-2008 (PowerPoint presentation)
Presented: June 6, 2011

Suicide in the Central Health Planning Region: 2003-2008 (PowerPoint presentation)
Presented: June 1, 2011

Suicide in the Northwest Health Planning Region: 2003-2008 (PowerPoint presentation)
Presented: May 24, 2011 and May 25, 2011

Suicide in the Southwest Health Planning Region: 2003-2008 (PowerPoint presentation)
Presented: May 10, 2011 and May 11, 2011

Suicide Methods in Virginia:  Patterns by Race, Gender, Age, and Birthplace
Published: April, 2011

Alcohol Consumption Before Fatal Suicides
Published: August, 2010

Poison-Related Attempted and Completed Suicides in Virginia: 2003-2006
Published: September, 2009

Suicide and Mental Health in Virginia: 2003-2007 (PowerPoint presentation)
Presented: June, 2009

Final Exit: What Type of Suicide Victim Seeks Guidance?
Published: February, 2009

Deaths from Violence:  A Look at 17 States
Published:  December, 2008

Substance Use and Violence
Published: December, 2008

Suicides of Children in Virginia
Published: May, 2008

Violent Death in Virginia: 2006
Published: April, 2008

Unintentional Firearm Deaths in Virginia, 2003-2006
Published: December, 2007

Data Requests

Thank you for your interest in this project.  Are you seeking information about violent death in Virginia or in a Virginia city or county?  We can help provide you with valuable information tailored to your specific needs.  Contact the VVDRS Coordinator by phone (804-205-3855), email (, or by typing your request into the space below.  Please note that we do not provide information about individual cases.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Violent Death Reporting System

National Violence Prevention Network

Virginia Department of Health, Division of Prevention and Health Promotion

Other NVDRS Projects








New Jersey

New Mexico

North Carolina




Rhode Island

South Carolina




For more information, data requests, questions, and comments, contact:
Marc Leslie
VVDRS Coordinator
(804) 205-3855

Last Updated: 02-05-2014

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