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ASU is studying how to keep domestic violence survivors safe as their partners await trial

Sixty-four people in the state have died this year alone from domestic violence, according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. Now, an Arizona State University study hopes to help survivors feel safer as their accused partners await trial. 

A criminal justice investment fund awarded more than $3 million to Jill Messing from the Arizona State University School of Social Work. Over the next three years, Messing and her research team will be looking at domestic violence cases nationwide. The team will consider the risk factors that signal a danger to a domestic violence survivor as an accused partner awaits trial. She describes the risk factors of one of these cases.

“There had been threats with weapons, there had been threats to kill her. So these are all risk factors that are used on these domestic violence risk assessments. And then the person was released at pretrial, and killed his partner during that time," said Messing.

Messing says understanding the risks will help determine the best approach to keeping survivors safe during the pretrial period. Their goal is to study 30,000 domestic violence cases and speak with 600 survivors.

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Reyna Preciado started her internship with KJZZ in August 2021. She is a senior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, focusing on community-related stories.She previously had been pursuing a major in biochemistry, but switched directions after becoming a server. During her time serving, she found that so many people had stories to share and so many voices deserved to be heard.She loved to write in her AP English classes in high school, so she made the decision to use her writing and communication skills to major in broadcast journalism. It was always a dream of hers to become a news anchor after being cast as an anchor in a fourth-grade newscast. It was silly, but it stuck with her, and she was eager to follow her dream when she was finally inspired to change directions. Now, she continues being inspired by the many voices within her community that have been waiting for an opportunity to be able to address what's important to them.When she is not working on a story, she likes to cook, sing and hang out with her crazy toddler.