Report – Domestic Homicides and Suspected Victim Suicides 2022-2023 -Vulnerability Knowledge and Practice Programme

View the full report here.

Read glossary of acronyms and terms for the report.

This is the third annual report from the national Domestic Homicide Project which works across England and Wales. It 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. Academics, including staff from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) seconded to the VKPP, have led the research in partnership with police.

The report examines all deaths identified by police as domestic abuse related to improve understanding of risk indicators, victim and perpetrator demographics. The unique dataset collects detailed information on these deaths not available from any other source to help police and partners improve their response to domestic abuse, domestic homicide and victim suicide following domestic abuse.

As well as providing detailed analysis of domestic abuse related deaths, the project also worked with bereaved families of victims, who continue to be a key driver for change across the criminal justice system.

Key findings from the report

A total of 242 domestic abuse related deaths were recorded between April 2022 to March 2023, including:

  • 93 suspected victim suicide following domestic abuse (SVSDA)
  • 80 intimate partner homicides (IPH)
  • 31 adult family homicides (AFH)
  • 23 unexpected deaths
  • 11 child deaths
  • 4 ‘other’ deaths (individuals living together who are not family members or intimate partners)

Victim and suspect demographics remained consistent with previous years, with the majority of victims being female aged 25-54 years old, and majority of perpetrators being male and of the same age bracket.

The number of victims and perpetrators of ethnic minority heritages remain slightly over-represented compared with the general population.

Four in five perpetrators were known to police before the homicide occurred, three in five for domestic abuse, and over a third were known to other agencies, demonstrating the need for a multi-agency approach to effectively safeguard victims.

Across the three years of data recorded by the project, around 10% of suspects were recorded as either currently or previously having been managed by police or probation.

Key indicators of risk present in the perpetrator’s history consistently include: controlling and coercive behaviour, mental ill health, alcohol use, drug use and separation/ending of the relationship.

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