Since 2011, the Safer West Sussex Partnership has had responsibility for undertaking Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs).
DHRs take place when the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a relative, household member or someone the person had been in an intimate relationship with.
They were introduced in Section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and came into force on 13 April 2011.
A DHR's purpose is to:
- review the circumstances that led to the death
- consider where responses can be improved in the future
- identify any best practice that can be shared.
- To establish what lessons can be learnt from the domestic homicide regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims.
- To identify clearly:
- what those lessons are, both within and between agencies
- the timescales they will be acted on
- what is expected to change as a result to reduce the risk of it happening again.
- To apply those lessons to service responses, including changes to policies and procedures, as appropriate.
- To 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.
A DHR is not an inquiry into how someone died or who is to blame, and it’s not part of any disciplinary process.
They do not replace, but are in addition to, an inquest or any other form of inquiry into the death.
You can access statutory guidance for the conduct of reviews on the Home Office website.
If a domestic homicide takes place in West Sussex, Sussex Police will make sure that the right people in the Community Safety Partnership are told as quickly as possible. A decision will be made about whether to complete a DHR using the Home Office statutory guidance.
A multi-agency review panel, led by an independent chair, is established for each review and comprises members of local statutory and voluntary agencies. In doing this, professionals and agencies involved, such as the police, the voluntary sector, local authorities and health agencies/professionals, will progress any recommendations made by the review.
The Safer West Sussex Partnership will publish the reports of local domestic homicide reviews on this page. In accordance with the statutory guidance, the reports will be anonymised in order to protect the identity of the individuals subject to the review.
Advice and information
Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) provide emotional, practical and specialist peer support to those left behind after fatal domestic homicide.
The charity also provides information and advice for professionals.
For details, please see their downloadable resources.
Find details about Domestic Homicide Review overview reports.