The Scottish Government established a multi-agency Domestic Homicide Review Taskforce in December 2022. The purpose of the Taskforce is to provide leadership on the development and implementation of a national multi-agency Domestic Homicide Review model for Scotland.
A domestic homicide review is a process that aims to learn lessons following a homicide where abuse is suspected, and ensure a voice is given to those who have been killed. This is to assist agencies and organisations to better identify and respond effectively to the risks associated with abuse, to prevent further deaths and to ensure that the victim is kept at the centre.
Whilst recognising that the majority of domestic homicides are carried out by men against women, the model developed will be an inclusive one which includes both male and female victims.
In developing Scotland’s Domestic Homicide Review model, approaches taken in other jurisdictions will be examined. This includes Domestic Homicide Review models elsewhere in the UK and internationally, as well as existing review processes in Scotland such as adult support and protection learning reviews. Together this will help develop a Scotland-specific system.
The model will be built upon a set of core principles and will form the approach taken by the Taskforce to the development of the model. The principles are:
- domestic abuse competent
The Taskforce will be responsible for the following:
- overseeing and driving forward work to develop and ensure the timely delivery of a national Domestic Homicide Review model in line with evidence and best practice that is reflective of the operating context within Scotland
- working closely and collaboratively with multi-agency partners to ensure the development, testing and implementation of a robust, fit for purpose Domestic Homicide Review model for Scotland
- ensuring a person centred, trauma informed approach to the development of the national Domestic Homicide Review model, particularly when considering the role of family and friends
- seeking additional expert advice from wider partners as required
- ensuring the model is in line with data protection and information governance legislation
- developing an effective monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure the effectiveness of the model once implemented
Package of evidence
We have brought together a package of evidence that will inform the work of the Domestic Homicide Review Taskforce.
Learning from other DHR models
The evidence includes papers which consider how domestic homicide review models operate in other countries and what we can learn from them.
The papers are International Comparator Research by Scottish Government and Learning from Domestic Homicide Reviews produced by the University of Edinburgh.
Views of the DHR Taskforce
Taskforce members were issued with an on-line questionnaire in December 2022. Its purpose was to seek views on key aspects of a domestic homicide review model.
The outcomes of the questionnaire were published in a report and the findings were used to inform a workshop held in February 2023. Members considered the purpose, principles and scope of a Scottish model at the workshop. Healthcare Improvement Scotland have produced and published a report on the outcomes of the workshop.
- Anna Donald, Deputy Director Criminal Justice Division, Scottish Government
- Alice Nottage, National Manager, Victim Support Scotland
- Ann Fehilly, Head of Strategic Services, ASSIST
- Ann Hayne, Gender Based Violence Manager, NHS Lanarkshire / Deputy for Director of Public Health representative
- Dr Claire Houghton, Lecturer in Social Policy and Qualitative Research, University of Edinburgh
- Deborah Demick, Deputy Head National Homicide Unit, COPFS
- Dr Emma Fletcher, Director of Public Health, NHS Tayside
- Faith Curry, Deputy Head Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, COPFS
- Fiona Drouet, Founder and CEO, EmilyTest
- Temp. Detective Superintendent Gillian Faulds, Public Protection, Police Scotland
- Giri Polubothu, CEO, Shakti Women’s Aid
- Iris Quar, Services Manager, Abused Men in Scotland
- Dr James Rowlands, Researcher, University of Sussex
- Joanna MacDonald, Deputy Chief Social Work Advisor, Scottish Government
- John McLaughlin, Alcohol and Drugs Partnerships Team Leader, Scottish Government
- Professor John Devaney, Dean and Head of the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
- John Mulholland, Criminal Defence Consultant and Constituency Council member of the Law Society of Scotland
- Julie Lusk, Professional Social Work Adviser for Adult Mental Health, Scottish Government
- Karyn McCluskey, Chief Executive, Community Justice Scotland
- Kate Wallace, Chief Executive, Victim Support Scotland
- Katie Brown, Equally Safe Policy Manager, COSLA
- Laura Mahon, Deputy Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland
- Lorraine Gillies, Chief Officer, Scottish Community Safety Network
- Lucy McDonald, Head of SafeLives Scotland
- Dr Lynne Taylor, Principle Psychology Advisor, Scottish Government
- Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive, Scottish Women’s Aid
- Michael Crook, Drugs Policy Team Leader, Scottish Government
- Moira Price, National Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse and Head of Victims and Witnesses Policy Team, COPFS:
- Dr Nel Whiting, Violence Against Women and Girls Team Leader (Equalities Unit), Scottish Government
- Detective Chief Superintendent Samantha Faulds, Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland
- Tamsyn Wilson, Researcher, Scottish Government (Justice Analytical Services)
- Vivien Thomson, Children and Families Policy and Practice Lead, Social Work Scotland
Taskforce Leads and Secretariat
- Carole Robinson, Policy Leader, Scottish Government
- Jeff Gibbons, Unit Head, Scottish Government
- Michael Luff, Graduate Development Programme, Scottish Government
- Stacey Reid, Policy Officer, Scottish Government
- Vicky Carmichael, Team Leader, Scottish Government
Help and support
If you have been affected by anything on this page and would like support you can contact the Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline.
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