What are Domestic Homicide Reviews?
They are a way to ensure that public bodies – like police, councils, social services and other community and voluntary based organisations – understand and learn from the circumstances that led to the death of your family member. These reviews can also help raise awareness in the broader community of how to help victims of domestic abuse. Each Domestic Homicide Review aims to highlight ways of improving responses to domestic violence and to prevent further homicides. These reviews became law in April 2011.
If you have lost a family member through domestic violence, the local Community Safety Partnership (CSP) should write to you letting you know whether or not a Domestic Homicide Review will be undertaken. The CSP will set up the review and they should invite you to contribute. This would give you the opportunity to share your understanding of what happened and why. Close friends of the deceased should also be invited to contribute.
Some reasons why you may wish to contribute:
- You may know of attempts your family member made to get help from organisations. But those carrying out the review could be unaware of these if the organisations did not record the contacts.
- Many families say they want to help prevent similar tragedies occurring. Your contribution may help officials to gain a complete understanding of what happened and give them the best opportunity to help others.
- Your input may help those conducting the review see the tragedy through the eyes of your loved one. This means that the reviewers get a real feel for what life is like when one is being abused and how difficult it is to get effective help. This can help them to make the best recommendations.
If you are facing a Domestic Homicide Review, we can help by:
- Answering your questions and explaining the nature and purpose of the review.
- Explain how you can contribute to and influence the report it will produce.
- Advocating for you during the review. There are many phases of the review and this can be quite daunting.
- Accompanying you to meet those conducting the review if you decide you wish to contribute information to the review team.
- Representing your views to the review team should you not wish to have direct contact with them.
- Being available for you to contact throughout the review period.
- Discussing the contents of the report of the review team once it is available.
- Giving guidance and help on dealing with the media should you need it.
- Being available once the review is over to offer a listening ear and ongoing support.
- Recommending other organisations that may be able to help
For more information about Domestic Homicide Reviews, see our Resources section