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Ask police whether the murder is legally domestic violence.

Domestic violence murders are not always charged under the domestic violence statute. In only half of the cases studied were charges filed under the domestic violence law. This can make it more difficult for a journalist to establish that the crime is domestic violence. But if the perpetrator and victim(s) are related as defined by the statute, the case is a domestic violence crime. There need be no prior or documented history.

Media Practice

"The murder of Kelly McGinity-McManus was not precipitated by a documented history of domestic violence, although police speculate that a protracted pattern of abuse was there." (Narragansett Times, 7/5/96)