What is a Domestic Homicide Review?
A Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is a multi-agency review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by:
- A person to whom he or she was related, or with whom he or she was or had been in an intimate personal relationship; or
- A member of the same household as himself or herself
DHRs were introduced by section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (DVCA 2004) and came into force on 13 April 2011.
The Purpose of a Domestic Homicide Reviews
The purpose of a Domestic Homicide Review is to consider the circumstances that led to the death and identify where responses could be improved in the future – and to see if there are gaps in existing service provision. This is explained on the Home Office website.
In doing so, the lessons learned will be taken on board by the professionals and agencies involved in their working practices. Each DHR has very different features and the process is quality assured by the Home Office to ensure that learning can be shared.
In this way, agencies will improve their responses to domestic violence and work better together to prevent such tragedies occurring in the future. Through our website, we will publish the reports and findings of these reviews as they become available.
How we undertake a Domestic Homicide Review
The Home Office has published guidance on when we need to set up a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) and how to do it. This is explained on the Home Office website.
If a domestic homicide takes place in Southampton, the Safe City Partnership uses the Statutory Guidance to establish whether the case meets the criteria for a DHR and informs the Home Office of its decision.
Once it is decided that a review should take place, a Review Panel, led by an Independent Chair, is commissioned to undertake the Domestic Homicide Review. The panel overseeing the review is made up of members of local, national statutory and voluntary agencies. The panel will review each agency's involvement in the case and consider recommendations to improve responses to domestic violence in the future. The Independent Chair will also aim to make contact with friends and family, to enable them to inform the review and build a complete view of the victim.
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