Article by Marilyn Armour

Each year in the United States about 1,600 women are killed by their partners. Although domestic violence fatality review teams (DVFRTs) are increasingly focused on identifying the possible causes and development of mechanisms to prevent future deaths, what remains hidden are the overwhelming needs of children essentially orphaned by the tragedy, their guardians, and other family members. This article highlights what is known about the survivors of domestic homicide, including developmental issues for children, the myriad of complex loyalty binds, help-seeking behaviors, and the unrelenting conditions that bar resolution. Although there are presently few services available, emerging resources for family survivors are noted and guidelines given for adults who want to promote healing. Finally, the DVFRTs are encouraged to expand their focus of inquiry to include the experiences of survivors in the aftermath of intrafamilial homicide.

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