Evidence Talks in Domestic Abuse, Experts Say
Kunz, Tona, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Tona Kunz Daily Herald Staff Writer
If they are lucky enough to still be alive, victims of domestic violence often are too fearful to testify against their attackers.
So police, coroner and emergency room staff use court documents such as orders of protection, on-sight interviews and physical evidence to speak for them.
Learning how best to do that has been a longtime goal in Kane County that has taken on new urgency as domestic violence has intensified. The county also has had four murders where domestic violence was evident or suspected since Christmas Eve. Another four deaths, including three suicides, are connected to domestic violence.
"It is a growing problem," Kane County Coroner Chuck West said.
On Friday, about 100 crime scene technicians, police, nurses, social workers and victims advocates learned new ways to make sure the victims get justice.
In the fourth forensic conference sponsored by the coroner's office, a national domestic violence expert, prosecutor and forensic pathologist discussed the best ways to document abuse crimes. …