violence is a pervasive problem in American Society and in the State
of New Jersey; and
violence devastates its victims and threatens the health and safety
of families; and
violence imposes staggering costs on society associated with legal
and medical expenses, law enforcement, social services, the courts
and lost productivity in the workplace; and
die each year in New Jersey as a result of domestic violence, in
circumstances that may be preventable; and
function of the Office on the Prevention of Violence Against Women
(the "Office") in the Division of Women of the Department of Community
Affairs is to implement strategies to prevent violence against women
and to explore prevention initiatives;
I, CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey,
by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
is hereby established the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board
("Board") within the Office to study domestic violence related
deaths and make recommendations regarding how these fatalities
may be prevented.
2. The purposes
of the Board are to:
the cooperation between public and private entities that deal
with domestic violence issues with the goal of reducing premature
deaths involving domestic violence.
facts and circumstances of domestic violence related fatalities
to identify correlates of domestic violence related fatalities,
and to perform other research as necessary toward the prevention
of domestic violence related fatalities.
a process for change in policies, procedures and protocols necessary
to accomplish improvement in the prevention of domestic violence
3. The Board
shall consist of the following 15 members:
Attorney General, the Commissioner of the Department of Community
Affairs, the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior
Services, the State Medical Examiner, the Superintendent of
State Police, the New Jersey Public Defender, the Director of
the Division on Women, the Supervisor of the Office on the Prevention
of Violence against Women, and the Project Director of the Domestic
Violence Fatality Review Board Grant or their designees.
Members appointed by the Governor shall include one representative
each from the following: a representative of the New Jersey
Coalition for Battered Women, a county domestic violence assistant
prosecutor, a licensed social worker or a psychologist with
demonstrated expertise in the field of domestic violence, a
law enforcement representative with experience in domestic violence,
a licensed physician or registered nurse or nurse practitioner
knowledgeable in the field of domestic violence and/or forensic
pathology, and a child protective service worker with experience
in family violence and child death review.
4. The Board
review and analyze information including death certificates
and death data, investigative reports, police, medical and counseling
records, victim service records, employment records, or other
information concerning domestic abuse fatalities, survivor interviews
and surveys, and other information deemed by the Board as necessary
and appropriate concerning the causes and manner of domestic
whether a domestic violence related death might have been prevented
with improved policies or procedures of the health care system,
social services system, law enforcement, the courts, or any
other public or private entity.
may make recommendations based on an analysis of information
gathered through this process.
domestic violence related fatality may be reviewed if there
is an on-going investigation or prosecution, unless the law
enforcement agencies having responsibility for the case certify
that the Board's review will not impede the investigation or
Board may establish committees or panels to which the Board
may assign some or all of its responsibilities.
Office shall develop operation guidelines for the administration
of the Board.
a database for the analysis of an aggregate population of domestic
violence related fatalities. The Board shall not permit dissemination
of non-aggregate information except as provided by law.
g. A research
data analysis committee may be established to gather data from
institutions and individuals and to organize and summarize information
for the full Board to develop a process for system change.
5. The Board
is authorized to call upon a department, office, division or agency
of this State to supply it with data and other information or
assistance it deems necessary to discharge its duties under this
Order. Each department, office, division or agency of this State
is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to
cooperate with the Board and to furnish it with such information
and assistance as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this
6. The Board
shall report to the Governor, no later than one year from the
date of this Executive Order, on the Board's progress and findings,
and to make any recommendations regarding the Board's operation,
including whether legislative authority would enhance the operation
of the Board.
7. To the
extent not inconsistent with current law, any information received
from an institution, agency, individual, board, court, legislative
committee, or other entity shall be kept confidential, and shall
not be disclosed by the Board and its membership except in an
aggregate form for research purposes by the Board and its members.
Order shall take effect immediately.
under my hand and seal
this 15th day of March in the Year
of Our Lord, Two Thousand, and
of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Fourth.
Christine Todd Whitman
Chief Counsel to the Governor