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Rhode Island


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State Overview

Domestic Violence Legislation:Yes (§12-29-2)
NIBRS Status:Certified
Additional IBR Elements:No
Law Enforcement DV System:Incident-based
Service Provider DV System:Incident-based
Service Provider SA System:Incident-based


State Summary

Rhode Island has legislation defining domestic violence, including violence between same-sex partners. The state is NIBRS-certified and all law enforcement agencies are required to report NIBRS data to the Rhode Island State Police. Currently, 36 of the 38 law enforcement agencies are reporting; the remaining 2 (including Providence) are transitioning to the incident-based system. No additional data elements are collected outside of what is required by the national program. The data are used in annual reports and are available upon request.

All law enforcement agencies also send domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault incident and arrest information to the Judiciary of Rhode Island Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit using a standard reporting form. The data are available on its Web site. The Office of the Attorney General's Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit also maintains a database of all domestic violence and restraining order cases that come through the court system. Family and district courts fax all No Contact Orders directly to the Attorney General's Office daily, while domestic violence information is entered directly into a database from a standardized form. Quarterly and annual reports are provided to the state Violence Against Women Act grant administrators.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence collects information on clients and the services provided from their six member programs. The Coalition also receives aggregate data from the Rhode Island Judiciary; the two sources of data are included in its annual report. The Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island also collects information from its member programs, but the data differs depending on the program. Aggregate data are provided in its annual report.

Both the Sexual Assault Trauma Resource Center and the Coalition Against Domestic Violence report aggregate data to the Rhode Island Department of Health's Violence Against Women Prevention Program. These data were collected by the former Violence Against Women Public Health Surveillance System, which was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1994 until 2000. It tracked all domestic and sexual violence of women 12 and older, and included law enforcement, prosecution, and forensic lab information. Although the system is no longer funded, the Department plans to use intimate partner violence and sexual assault modules in their future Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance surveys, also funded by the CDC.

The Rhode Island Office of the State Medical Examiner participates in the National MCH Center for Child Death Review Program via a Web-based reporting system that includes domestic violence-related child deaths. The Rhode Island Child Death Review Team uses a modified version of the national data collection form. The Office also participates in the National Violent Death Reporting System, which includes deaths related to domestic violence. The state system, the Rhode Island Violent Death Reporting System, collects a modified subsample of the data elements captured in the national system. Aggregate statistics from both datasets are provided upon request.


State Projects

  • A Statewide Study of Stalking and its Criminal Justice Response Grant 2007-WG-BX-0003
    This study will explore the impact of identifying and charging for the crime of stalking in the state of Rhode Island on offender accountability as measured by successful prosecution as well as victim safety, as measured by re-arrest for domestic violence within two years. Researchers will use a multi-methods approach that includes secondary data analysis of a mandated law enforcement reporting system as well as court-based data regarding prosecution and qualitative interviews with select Rhode Island law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers and court advocates for a more complete understanding of the factors influencing the criminal justice response to stalking. The researcher plans to explore answers to the question, "Does identifying the crime of stalking have an effect on prosecution outcomes, as well as longer terms outcomes in regard to subsequent arrests for domestic violence?" A sample of 1,297 incident and arrest reports where citations have been made by police for threats and harassment between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2005, will be reviewed to extract those cases where stalking charges should have been brought against the suspects. These extracted cases will be compared with 140 cases during the same period where the suspects were actually cited for stalking. Comparisons will be made on a variety of characteristics, with the end result being the development of a more complete profile of stalkers. Qualitative interviews (group) with 30 key informants from smaller cities in Rhode Island will be conducted to assess factors that may influence the criminal justice response to stalking..


  • Rhode Island Violent Death Reporting System
    The Rhode Island Department of Health will be comparing the violent deaths in the Rhode Island Violent Death Reporting System with the data collected by the Rhode Island Supreme Court's Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit to determine the proportion of victims of violent death who were victims or perpetrators of domestic violence in the 12 months prior to death.


  • Rhode Island Child Death Review
    The Rhode Island Department of Health will be comparing the violent child deaths in the Rhode Island Violent Death Reporting System with the data collected by the Rhode Island Supreme Court's Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit to determine whether children who live in homes with police-reported domestic violence have an increased risk of death from all causes.



Available Reports

General Crime Statistics

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault

Stalking


Sample Data Collection Forms

The Judiciary of Rhode Island Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit collects law enforcement data using this form:

The Rhode Island Medical Examiner's Office collects information on domestic violence-related deaths for the Child Death Review Program using this form, modified from the form created by the National Center for Child Death Review:

The National Violent Death Reporting System provides software and a coding manual that outlines the data to be collected:

The Office of the Attorney General's Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit maintains a database of all domestic violence and sexual assault cases that enter the AG's Office using this format:


Available Data

General Crime Statistics

Domestic Violence

Sexual Assault


Violence Against Women


Links to State Agencies and Resources