Domestic Homicide Reviews

What is a Domestic Homicide Review and how do they work?

An agency (most commonly Sussex Police) can report any deaths due to, or suspected to have been caused by, domestic violence and abuse to the Safe in the City Partnership. The Partnership then has to make a decision about whether to review the case, and if it decides to do so, it is responsible for conducting a review of what happened. The aim of a review is to identify how local professionals and organisations can improve the way they work together and identify what needs to be changed to reduce the risk of it happening again in the future. More information, and guidance published in 2016, can be accessed from the Home Office website.

A short domestic homicide review process summary, including how to make a notification, is available if you follow this link.

The purpose of a Domestic Homicide Review :

  • Establish what lessons are to be learned from the domestic homicide regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims.
  • Identify clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies, how and within what timescales they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result.
  • Apply those lessons to service responses including changes to policies and procedures as appropriate.
  • Help services work to prevent domestic violence and improve service responses for all domestic violence victims and their children through improved intra and inter-agency working.

What information is published locally?

Where the Safe in the City Partnership has conducted a review, an Executive Summary and Overview Report will be published. The aim is to maintain public confidence, as well as to improve transparency about the processes in place across all agencies to protect victims of domestic violence and abuse.

You can access published reviews by clicking here.

Lessons learnt

There is no requirement to bring together local reviews. However, while each case is a tragedy in its own right, the Safe in the City Partnership recognised that there was value in drawing together findings and recommendations. The intention is to identify common learning, as well as key messages for professionals (in order to inform practice), policy makers and commissioners (to inform the shape of services locally), to ensure services are improved. You can access the report, titled 'Domestic Homicide Reviews and Near Miss Reviews: Summary of Learning in Brighton & Hove 2012 & 2013' by clicking here.

To support the dissemination of this learning, the Partnership Community Safety Team ran a series of workshops between December 2014 and March 2015. The aim of these sessions was to share learning and support practitioners to identify implications for their practice, focused on:

  • Increased understanding of the purpose of a domestic homicide or near miss review
  • Summary of key lessons learned nationally
  • Understanding of the key issues raised by local cases, including what helps or hinders victim/survivors when disclosing their experiences and accessing help and support, as well as the challenges professionals can face in responding to disclosures, identifying risk and sharing information
  • Understanding what is being done locally in response to these reviews.

You can access the presentation for these sessions, titled 'Learning from Domestic Homicide & Near Miss Reviews: Implications for Practice' by clicking here.

You can also schedule a specific session for your organisation contact the Partnership Community Safety Team using the details at the bottom of the page.

Further information:

For further information contact James Rowlands, the Strategic Commissioner:

E-mail: James.Rowlands@brighton-hove.gcsx.gov.uk

Telephone: 01273 291032