Alternative Responses to Intimate Partner Prosecution: From Diversion to High Lethality

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 19, 2022

Melissa Hoppmeyer
Melissa Hoppmeyer, JD
Special Victims Prosecutor, Co-Founder
Right Response Consulting
Kathryn Marsh
Kathryn Marsh, JD
Special Victims Prosecutor
Co-Founder, Right Response Consulting

In 75% of intimate partner violence homicides, the victim experienced violence within the preceding 30 days. Victims of intimate partner homicide who have been strangled are 750% more likely to be victims of intimate partner homicide. However, not all cases involve high lethality. Therefore, communities may consider alternatives to prosecution in intimate partner violence cases, as a result of data driven factors that address outside stressors and engagement of survivors.

The presenters will begin with a discussion on the creation of evidence-based diversion courts for first time offenders whose crimes did not involve a weapon or serious injury. Next, the presenters will focus on high-risk cases that involve repeat offenders, escalating violence, and stalking. They will share strategies to effectively prosecute these cases without re-traumatizing victims, which include targeted sentencing recommendations and treatment. Finally, the presenters will discuss high lethality cases such as cases that involve weapons, strangulation, asphyxiation, and serious injury.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize outside stressors that may be contributing to first time violence.
  • Identify appropriate services and community partners to help address these stressors and encourage survivor participation in the process.
  • Establish Intimate Partner Violence Diversion Courts.
  • Detect high risk cases for survivors, to better invest resources and time.
  • Identity high lethality cases to reduce the risk of homicide.
  • Evaluate strategies to prosecute high risk and high lethality cases without victim participation.


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