Assignment overview — What Is a Fact Sheet?


This course has identified and discussed many forms of domestic or family abuse and violence. In this assignment, you will focus on fatal domestic violence between intimate partners. You will examine research on numbers of victims, victim (decedent) characteristics as well as perpetrator characteristics. You will also examine risk factors for fatal domestic violence and responses to lethal domestic violence, including threat assessment and death review teams.

Assignment overview — What Is a Fact Sheet?

Fact sheets are short reports that present information in a readable and interesting format. They enable scientists and researchers to concisely summarize the results of research, so it is shareable with the public or other professionals. However, be aware that fact sheets are more than just random lists of words or numbers. A useful fact sheet has a clear organization and structure. It names the issue at hand, defines it, sets up relevance, gives data (usually numerical or statistical), discusses interventions and makes recommendations. Because fact sheets summarize data in a report format, they must provide accurate citations and references for the sources. An example of a fact sheet is this one by the Child Welfare Information Gateway on Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader  to access this file).

General Format and Audience

Most fact sheets are two to four pages in length. They should have a good balance of text (in a readable font), white space, and images or charts and graphs. An effective fact sheet is informative and visually interesting. Many use a two-column format as well as color fonts and headers, and photographs. [Given the sensitive nature of this fact sheet, images of victims (photographs) are not appropriate]. Pie charts or histograms with statistics are ideal for fact sheets. You may use the Fact Sheet templatePreview the document to help simplify the formatting process.

It is important to keep your audience in mind as you write the text for your fact sheet. Assume that your audience consists of domestic violence interns. While your fact sheet targets a semi-professional audience, they may not be familiar with the technical definitions for all relevant terms. Therefore, you must take care to define all key terms. For example, some members of your audience may be unfamiliar with the concept of a fatality review report, so be sure to define that term. Use headings throughout the fact sheet to guide your reader through the fact sheet.

Content Expectations

  1. Produce a 1200-word fact sheet on fatal domestic violence using assigned resources and two of your own.  Your sources cannot be websites.  You may use government reports (CDC, DOJ, FBI, etc.) or peer-reviewed articles.  News reports (print or video) are not allowed for this project.
  2. Your fact sheet should:
    1. Define fatal domestic violence.  Please note–do not define domestic violence–only define fatal domestic violence.  This is a fact sheet for a very specific and narrow topic.
    2. Present and explain statistical evidence relating to fatal domestic violence that includes victim characteristics such as age, educational attainment, marital status, relationship to the perpetrator, and method of death.
    3. List and discuss risk factors for fatal domestic violence
    4. List and discuss two types of interventions.
    5. Define and discuss death (fatality) review processes.
    6. Use the required resources to write the fact sheet.
  3. Required resources — you are required to use ALL of the following resources in your fact sheet.
    1. Block, Carolyn Rebecca. 2003. How can practitioners help an abused woman lower her risk of death? Journal of National Institute of Justice, December, Vol 250: 4-6
    2. Campbell, Jacquelyn C., Daniel Webster, Jane Koziol-McLain, Carolyn Rebecca Block, Doris Campbell, Mary Ann Curry, Faye Gary, Judith McFarlane, Carolyn Sachs, Phyllis Sharps, Yvonne Ulrich, and Susan A. Wilt. 2003. Assessing risk factors for intimate partner homicide. Journal of National Institute of Justice, December, Vol 250: 15-19
    3. Petrosky E, Blair JM, Betz CJ, Fowler KA, Jack SP, Lyons BH. 2017. Racial and ethnic differences in homicides of adult women and the role of intimate partner violence — the United States, 2003–2014. MMWR Morbidity Mortality Weekly. 66:741–746. DOI:
    4. Zahn, Margaret. 2003. Intimate partner homicide: A review. Journal of National Institute of Justice, December, Vol 250: 2.
    5. Websdale, Neil. 2003. Reviewing domestic violence deaths. Journal of National Institute of Justice, December, Vol 250: 26-29.

Format Expectations

Your Fact Sheet Must:

  1. Cite all information from the required resources plus any others you use in the fact sheet. Use APA style.
  2. Be 1200 words (show the word count).
  3. Have a balance of readable text, images, and white space. The two-column format is scored by the rubric.
  4. Use headings to guide the reader.
  5. Use color in headings, charts, and graphs. Use Word to create a pie chart or a histogram to represent data on victims.
  6. Not cut and paste text or tables from your sources.
  7. Be well-organized and free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  8. Use two additional sources besides those provided.
  9. Not copy from any existing fact sheet or handout.


This assignment requires a file upload submission (Links to an external site.). After you have reviewed the assignment instructions and rubric, as applicable, complete your submission by selecting the Submit Assignment button next to the assignment title.

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