Benbow, Susan M.; Bhattacharyya, Sarmishtha; Kingston, Paul (Cambridge University Press, 2018-01-11)
Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) are conducted when an individual aged 16 or over appears to have died from violence, abuse or neglect by a person to whom they are related or with whom they are in an intimate relationship or who is a member of the same household. DHRs aim to identify lessons to be learned, to improve service responses to domestic abuse, and to contribute to prevention of domestic abuse/ homicide. We submitted freedom of information requests to English Local Authorities to identify DHRs where victim, perpetrator, or both were aged over 60. Collected Reports and/ or Executive Summaries were thematically analysed. Analysis identified four key themes in the context of the key relationship and caring: major mental illness of the perpetrator; drug and/or alcohol abuse; financial issues; and a history of domestic abuse in key or family relationships. We analysed 14 adult family homicides, 16 intimate partner homicides, and five homicide-suicides. Age per
se did not emerge as a significant factor in our analysis. Terminology needs to be standardised, and training/ education regarding risk assessment improved in relation to age, myths around ageing/ dementia, and stresses of caring. Management of mental illness is a key factor. A central repository of DHR Reports accessible for research and subject to regular review would
contribute to maximising learning and improving practice.
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