Review of Local Women's Deaths Helps Philadelphia Policy-Makers Develop Violence-Prevention Strategies

Reviewing premature deaths of Philadelphia women to help develop policies and system responses to prevent violence

From July 2002 through December 2003, investigators from the Philadelphia Women's Death Review Team—a collaboration of agencies in that city led by the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation—conducted a review of all deaths in the year 2000 of women ages 15 to 60 who lived there at the time of their death.

The purpose of the review was to identify those women who died through intimate-partner violence and to facilitate citywide cooperation around the issue of violence in women's lives.

Key Findings: Project staff reported the following findings, based on data from 2000, in a report entitled Analysis of Deaths to Philadelphia Women Ages 15 through 60, 2000:

  • The proportion of homicides of women that were the direct result of intimate-partner violence was higher in Philadelphia than in the rest of the nation but had declined over a four-year-period.
  • African-American women died at a higher rate than white women in Philadelphia.
  • Fifty percent of the violence-associated deaths of Philadelphia women in 2000 were related to drugs and/or alcohol.