sur·veil·lance - the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data regarding health events of interest for purposes of intervention and the creation of prevention strategies.
Unfortunately, one-third of all
homicides in Virginia are related to
family or intimate partner discord or violence.
Collecting accurate information on family and intimate partner homicide (FIP) is essential for the overall health and well-being of a community. These data provide policy makers, community groups, and the general public information needed to understand the magnitude of homicide in their communities and the circumstances surrounding these events. In summary, these data provide stakeholders with the ability to track changes, identify trends over time, identify at-risk populations, and develop evidence-based interventions.
As mentioned above, data are important for understanding a community’s functioning and needs; however, before 1999, collecting data and understanding the degree to which FIP homicide impacted Virginia was difficult. Virginia lacked two important things, a standard criteria for identifying FIP cases, and a commonly accepted method to input and analyze data.
In 1999 the Virginia General Assembly enacted Virginia Code §32.1-283.3 and took a critical step toward our increased understanding of family and intimate partner violence in Virginia. This Code section authorized the development of local family and domestic violence fatality review teams and created a state-wide surveillance system to collect data on deaths involving family and/or intimate partners.
Virginia Department of Health
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Family and Intimate Partner Violence
Homicide Surveillance Project
737 North 5th Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 205-3857
Fax: (804) 786-1877
*Data are from the current FIP Annual Report.