Domestic Homicide and Suicide Review Taskforce


In December 2022, the Scottish Government established a taskforce to provide national leadership for the development and implementation of a multi-agency domestic homicide and suicide review model for Scotland. 

Our commitment to developing a review model is set out within the Equally Safe Delivery Plan. This commitment is also a key priority within the Programme for Government 2023-2024

The domestic homicide and suicide review model aims to learn lessons following a death where abuse is suspected and to ensure a voice is given to those who have died and their family.

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 victims of all genders.

Approaches taken in other jurisdictions will also be examined as well as the existing review processes in Scotland. This includes children and adult support and protection learning reviews. Together this will help develop a Scotland-specific system. 


The Scottish model will be built on a set of core principles. These are: 

  • person-centred - respecting an individual's needs and values, treating them fairly, communicating with them clearly and recognising that they are the experts in their own lives  
  • trauma-informed - recognising the impact that trauma can have, making sure to minimise the risk of re-traumatisation and understanding that access to support promotes recovery
  • transparent - operating in an open, honest, clear and comprehensive way
  • inclusive - ensuring we are open to all, equal, fair and respectful. We recognise that domestic homicide is gendered and that the majority of domestic homicides are carried out by men against women. The model developed will include victims of all genders
  • domestic abuse competent - understanding that abuse can take many forms, recognising the gendered nature of domestic abuse, understanding the impact on victims and children, the complexity of victims’ needs, and understanding how to respond appropriately


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 and suicide 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 and suicide review model for Scotland
  • ensuring a person-centred, trauma-informed approach to the development of the national domestic homicide and suicide review model, particularly when considering the role of family and friends
  • seeking additional expert advice from wider partners and subject matter experts 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

A package of evidence has been brought together to inform the work of the taskforce.

Learning from other jurisdictions

The evidence includes papers which consider how domestic homicide review models operate in other countries and what can be learned from them. 

The papers include the International Comparator Research by Scottish Government and Learning from Domestic Homicide Reviews produced by the University of Edinburgh.

Views of the taskforce

Taskforce members were issued with an online questionnaire to seek views on key aspects of the 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.

Consultation and targeted engagement

The Scottish Government undertook a period of consultation and targeted engagement to inform the development of domestic homicide review model for Scotland. This took place between 1 September – 30 October 2023 and gathered the views of:

  • people (those 18 years of age and over) who have lived experience of domestic abuse
  • people who have been bereaved due to domestic homicide/abuse
  • people working in the field of domestic abuse, for example, the police, victim support organisations, social services, health services
  • people with lived experience who also work in the field of domestic abuse

The outcomes of the consultation were published in a report, and the findings were used to inform the next steps.

Next steps

The Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs has now outlined the next steps for the model, including the need to consider legislation. Initially, the model will include:

  • partner/ex-partner homicide (including adolescents in intimate relationships)
  • domestic abuse related family homicide
  • violent resistance homicide
  • domestic abuse related suicide
  • children

As a result, ‘Domestic Homicide and Suicide Reviews’ was proposed as a new working title.



  • Anna Donald, Deputy Director Criminal Justice Division, Scottish Government


  • Ann Fehilly, Head of Strategic Services, ASSIST
  • Ann Hayne, Gender Based Violence Manager, NHS Lanarkshire / Deputy for Director of Public Health representative  
  • Deborah Demick, Deputy Head National Homicide Unit, COPFS
  • Dr Emma Fletcher, Director of Public Health, NHS Tayside
  • Dr Emma Forbes, National Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse and Head of Victims and Witnesses Policy Team, COPFS
  • Faith Curry, Deputy Head Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit, COPFS 
  • Fiona Drouet, Founder and CEO, EmilyTest
  • Giri Polubothu, CEO, Shakti Women’s Aid
  • Iris Quar, Services Manager, Abused Men in Scotland
  • Dr James Rowlands, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Westminster (and practising DHR chair in England and Wales)
  • Jeff Gibbons, Unit Head, Violence Against Women and Girls (Criminal Justice Division), Scottish Government
  • Jess Denniff, Head of SafeLives Scotland
  • Joanna MacDonald, Deputy Chief Social Work Advisor, Scottish Government 
  • Professor John Devaney, Dean and Head of the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh and Model Development Subgroup Chair
  • John Mulholland, Criminal Defence Consultant and Constituency Council member of the Law Society of Scotland  
  • 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
  • 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
  • Dr Nel Whiting, Violence Against Women and Girls Team Leader (Equalities Unit), Scottish Government
  • Detective Chief Superintendent Sam Faulds, Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland
  • Tamsyn Wilson, Researcher, Scottish Government (Justice Analytical Services)

Taskforce policy and project team

  • Laura-Isabella Muresanu, Senior Policy Officer, Violence Against Women and Girls (Criminal Justice Division), Scottish Government
  • Jude Thomson, Senior Policy Officer, Violence Against Women and Girls (Criminal Justice Division), Scottish Government
  • Vicky Carmichael, Team Leader, Violence Against Women and Girls (Criminal Justice Division), Scottish Government

Related groups

Domestic Homicide Review Model Development Subgroup



We established the Model Development Subgroup in September 2023. It supports the work of the taskforce by developing the detail of the Scottish domestic homicide and suicide review model.

The subgroup will also carry out the testing and evaluation of the model to ensure it is robust and fit for purpose before it is rolled out. 



Professor John Devaney, Dean and Head of the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

Deputy Chair

  • Professor Khatidja Chantler, Professor of Gender, Equalities & Communities, Manchester Metropolitan University


  • Alice Nottage, National Manager, Victim Support Scotland
  • Anil Gupta, Chief Officer Communities, COSLA 
  • Fiona McMullan, Operations Manager, ASSIST
  • Gillian Faulds, Detective Superintendent, Police Scotland
  • Joan Tranent, Midlothian Chief Social Work Officer, and Children and Families Standing Committee Chair
  • Iris Quar, Services Manager, Abused Men in Scotland
  • Jodie McVicar, National Training Manager, Scottish Women’s Aid
  • Kimberley Black, Nurse Consultant Public Protection, NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • Moira Orr, Procurator Fiscal Homicide and Major Crime, COPFS
  • Neil Moore, CEO, PETAL
  • Dr Patricia Moultrie, GP, BMA Scotland 

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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