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Domestic Violence and Abuse Special Interest Group

'Domestic Violence and Abuse: what we can learn from homicide reviews'

12th March 2024, 9:30am - 11:00am

Speaker: Jan Pickles

Chair: Dr Michaela Rogers

Understanding the context: domestic violence and abuse in the UK

Domestic violence and abuse in the UK is a pervasive issue that affects individuals across diverse demographics. According to the Government’s Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), 2.3 million adults experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in the year ending March 2020, with women being disproportionately affected. [It's crucial to note that these figures represent reported cases, and the actual prevalence may be higher due to underreporting.] Domestic violence can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse. The consequences are severe, often leading to long-term physical and mental health challenges for survivors, but in extreme cases leading to homicide. 

Addressing this societal concern requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach from various agencies, highlighting the need for effective strategies and interventions to protect those at risk and prevent further harm.


The role of Domestic Homicide Reviews

A Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is a thorough and impartial analysis conducted following the death of an individual as a result of domestic violence. In the UK, DHRs are an integral part of safeguarding processes, initiated when a case raises concerns about how agencies worked together to protect those involved. The primary purpose of a DHR is to understand the circumstances leading to the fatality, identify any potential gaps or shortcomings in the response of relevant agencies, and formulate recommendations to enhance future practices. These reviews play a crucial role in facilitating a coordinated and informed approach to preventing domestic violence and ensuring the safety of those at risk, shedding light on systemic issues that can inform policy and practice improvements.


What to expect from this session:

In this session, Jan Pickles will discuss Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) and what insights we can gather from thematic learning. Drawing on her expertise, Jan will also discuss the Wales Review Repository and introduce the Single Unified Safeguarding Review, a ground-breaking model set to launch in Wales in April 2024 to replace where possible all of the current models.