Domestic Homicide Reviews

What a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is and when it occurs.

About Domestic Homicide Reviews

The Safer West Sussex Partnership has responsibility for undertaking Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs).

DHRs take place when the death, including a suicide, of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a:

  • relative
  • household member
  • someone the person had been in an intimate relationship with.

A DHR's purpose is to:

  • review the circumstances leading to the death
  • consider where responses can be improved in the future
  • identify any best practice to share.


A Domestic Homicide Review aims to:

  • establish what lessons can be learnt about how local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims
  • identify clearly:
    • what those lessons are, both within and between agencies
    • the timescales they will be acted on
    • what is expected to change to reduce the risk of similar events.
  • apply the 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 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. It is not part of any disciplinary process.

They are an addition to, not in replacement of, 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 is thought to have occurred in West Sussex, Sussex Police, or another agency, notify the Safer West Sussex Partnership. Using Home Office statutory guidance, the West Sussex Domestic Homicide Oversight Panel decide whether to carry out a DHR.

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 publish reports of local domestic homicide reviews. In accordance with the statutory guidance, reports are anonymised to protect the identity of 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, see their downloadable resources.