Domestic Homicide Reviews

What is a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR)?

DHRs were established on a statutory basis under section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004). This provision came into force on 13 April 2011.

A DHR is a review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a person to whom he was related or with whom he was or had been in an intimate personal relationship, or a member of the same household as himself, held with a view to identifying the lessons to be learnt from the death. Intimate personal relationships include relationships between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. This can also include suicide.


What is the purpose of conducting a DHR?

The purpose of conducting a DHR is to establish what lessons are to be learned from the domestic homicide, regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims.

This includes:

  • Identifying clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies, how and within what timescales they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result.

  • Applying the lessons to service responses including changes to policies and procedures as appropriate.

  • Preventing domestic violence homicide and improving service responses for all domestic violence victims and their children, through improved intra and inter-agency working. The rationale for the review process is to ensure agencies are responding appropriately to victims of domestic violence by offering and putting in place appropriate support mechanisms, procedures, resources and interventions with an aim to avoid future incidents of domestic homicide and violence. The review also assess whether agencies have sufficient and robust procedures and protocols in place, which were understood and adhered to by their staff.


What is a DHR Review Panel and which agencies are members of the Panel?

A DHR Review Panel is led by an independent chair, and consists of representatives from statutory agencies, listed under section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, and voluntary agencies commissioned to undertake the DHR.

The panel reviews each agency's involvement in the case and makes recommendations to improve responses in the future. The panel will also consider information from the victim's family, friends and work colleagues.

Download the Suffolk Domestic Homicide Review Guidance 2021

DHRs can be found in full and summarised versions below:


Home Office analysis which sets out what is known about domestic homicide and draws out common themes and trends and identifies learning that emerged across a sample of Domestic Homicide Reviews.