The challenges and opportunities of reviewing domestic abuse-related deaths by suicide in England and Wales

Rowlands, James and Dangar, Sarah (2023) The challenges and opportunities of reviewing domestic abuse-related deaths by suicide in England and Wales. Journal of Family Violence. pp. 1-15. ISSN 0885-7482

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In England and Wales, Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) are conducted into domestic abuse-related killings. In 2016, deaths by suicide were brought into the scope of this review system and, to distinguish them from reviews into domestic homicides, we describe these as ‘Suicide Domestic Abuse-Related Death Reviews’ (S-DARDR). To date, S-DARDRs have been little considered and, in response, this empirical paper seeks to unpack this process.

In a larger study, 40 DHR participants were interviewed, and a reflexive thematic analysis was undertaken. 18 participants discussed S-DARDRs. These interviews were re-read, with relevant extracts identified and re-analysed thematically. Through a shared critical reflection, we drew on our practice experience to interrogate the themes generated from the interviews and offer insight into the underlying challenges.

From the interviews, we generated four themes relating to commissioning and delivery; the involvement of stakeholders; intersections with other statutory processes; and purpose. Based on our shared critical reflection, we identified the underlying challenges as an under conceptualisation of S-DARDRs, alongside their de-mooring from the criminal justice system. Taken together, these challenges have implications for the conduct of S-DARDRs. We identify recommendations for policy and practice to address these challenges.

The development of S-DARDRs has been little considered and challenges arise around when and how they should be undertaken. A shared understanding of key concepts and expectations around delivery is necessary if S-DARDRs are to enable robust learning and be a driver for systems change while also being accessible and understood by all stakeholders.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology and Criminology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2023 10:30
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 10:45

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