What are Domestic Homicide Reviews

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) were established on a statutory basis under Section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (DVCA 2004) and came into force on 13 April 2011.

The responsibility for DHR’s sits with the relevant Community Safety Partnership (part of the District Council) and are overseen by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership.

A DHR is a locally conducted 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.

This includes where a victim took their own life (suicide) and the circumstances give rise to concern, for example it emerges that there was coercive controlling behaviour in the relationship.

Their purpose is not to reinvestigate the death or apportion blame, but to:

  • 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 they will be acted on, within what timescales, and what is expected to change as a result
  • apply these lessons to service responses including changes to policies and procedures as appropriate
  • prevent domestic violence homicide and improve service responses for all domestic violence victims and their children, through improved intra and inter-agency working.

The DHR will usually draw upon information obtained from:

  • interviewing family members
  • interviewing significant people who may have known the victim
  • obtaining information from participating agencies, either by way of an Individual Management Review (IMR), or by other means such as a chronology of events.

See more detail on the government website: Domestic homicide review – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There is further statutory guidance on the government website Domestic homicide reviews: statutory guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This includes templates to help local areas carry out reviews, and information about:

  • the purpose of a domestic homicide review
  • conducting a review
  • involving families and friends
  • the importance of having a representative review panel

Published DHRs