The review is underpinned by principles, some of which are:
- Independence – It should be very clear to the family that the Chair is independent of the agencies contributing to the review.
- Humility – Openness to learning and not being defensive; willingness to admit one’s limitations and believing that others may hold answers currently unknown by you.
- No Blame – Efforts are directed at learning
- Victim Centred – Central to the review is how the victim perceived both her chances and what the agencies were offering. Family and friends can also make an empirical contribution to the review as agency records are often incomplete or may have errors. Information from these sources can rebalance the forensic narrative until that point formed by input only from agencies and often, the perpetrator, for example during a trial. An accurate narrative means we learn from an authentic history.
- Broad Based, thorough and honest – Reviewers need to go wherever necessary to ensure they know the circumstances in the lead up to the homicide.
Other factors making for good reviews:
- Seeking the truth is a focus of the review.
- Information contained in organisational records is cross checked.
- The report:
- Is concise
- Gets to the ‘heart’ of the matter
- Is well crafted and accessible
- Helps the reader understand something about the lives of victim/s and perpetrator/s.
- Demonstrates an understanding of Coercive Control & the dynamics of abuse
- Is capable of causing improvements that will protect others