Every survivor that domestic violence programs work with is a potential homicide victim. Advocates know this as they work with survivors, advocating on their behalf and building relationships with them and often their families. Domestic violence programs deal with the reality of knowing that a homicide could happen at any time, yet not allowing this knowledge to overpower their work with victims.
The objective of this document is to provide a framework for domestic violence programs to develop a plan for how they will respond to a homicide in their community, whether the victim had been a client or not. Additionally, many of the elements of this plan can be adapted for use when programs experience a death of a client in shelter, as often the effects felt are similar.