Domestic Homicide Project Spotlight Briefing #2 Older Victims

Hoeger, Katie, Bates, Lis orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2425-7201, Perry, Phoebe, Nguyen Phan, Thien Trang and Whitaker, Angie (2022) Domestic Homicide Project Spotlight Briefing #2 Older Victims. Project Report. UNSPECIFIED.

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The Domestic Homicide Project (the Project), based in the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP), was established by National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing. The Project was created in May 2020 through Home Office funding to collect, review, and share quick-time learning from all police-recorded domestic homicides and suspected suicides of individuals with a known history of domestic abuse victimisation during the Covid- 19 pandemic. All police forces in England and Wales submit notice of relevant deaths to the project shortly after the death occurs. The research carried out by the Project is the first police-led work of its kind in England and Wales, aiming to establish the impact of the Covid-19 and restrictions on domestic homicides, and to learn lessons from every tragic death to seek to prevent future deaths. More detail, including key findings and recommendations, can be found in our first report, ‘Domestic Homicides and Suspected Victim Suicides During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020-2021’.

Spotlight Briefing #1 noted that 63% of victims of adult family homicide (AFH) were aged 55 and older, with the proportion of AFH victims increasing with age. This briefing examines the characteristic of age in more depth. It considers both older victims suspected to have been killed by a current or ex-intimate partner (Intimate Partner Homicide - IPH) as well as those killed by a family member (AFH). Although this briefing utilises a relatively small sample size, it provides emerging learning whilst the Project team continues analysis of identified patterns within the current year’s (2021/22) data. Additionally, use of the term older victims in this briefing refers to individuals aged 65 years and older, with findings from other age groups discussed where relevant. Previous literature has also noted a dearth of research on homicides of older victims (Bows and Davies, 2019; HMICFRS 2019). This briefing addresses this gap by sharing new evidence around domestic homicides involving older victims and discussing the implications for risk assessment and practice (pg. 6).

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