Women’s Aid responds to report on domestic homicides and suspected victim suicides
Tuesday 6th December 2022
This week, the national Domestic Homicide Project published their report ‘Domestic Homicides and Suspected Victim Suicides 2021-2022’. The Domestic Homicide Project is a Home Office funded research project led by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and delivered by the Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme (VKPP) in collaboration with the College of Policing.
Commenting on the report, Lucy Hadley, head of policy at Women’s Aid, said:
“These statistics are horrifying and yet again show how much needs to change to keep women safe. The fact that nearly a quarter of the reported deaths were suicides caused by a victim’s experience of domestic abuse illustrates how vital it is for government to ensure domestic abuse is central to its upcoming ten-year Mental Health Plan and updated suicide prevention strategy. While it’s positive that police are improving identification of these devastating deaths, far more is needed to prevent them: all agencies, including health services, must be provided with specialist training to understand the risk and harm that domestic abuse causes, and long-term, specialist therapeutic support that women desperately need must be sustainably funded.
“This report also shows that nearly all victims of intimate partner homicides and victim suicides over the past year were women, and nearly all suspects were men. These women were mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and colleagues. We urgently need national and local government strategies and funding to reflect and respond to this, as we are continuing to see dangerous ‘gender-neutral approaches’ to domestic abuse. Failing to recognise the link between women’s inequality and their experiences of domestic abuse undermines life-saving specialist women’s support services and women’s safety. Women must be given the specialist support they need to recover and rebuild their lives after abuse.”