Domestic Abuse and Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR)

Information on different types of domestic abuse and useful links on how to get help

What Is Domestic Abuse? 

Since April 2013, Domestic Abuse has been defined by the government as:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim

Whatever form it takes, domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, and should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Typically the abuse involves a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour, which tends to get worse over time. The abuse can begin at any time, in the first year, or after many years of life together. It may begin, continue, or escalate after a couple have separated and may take place not only in the home but also in a public place.

Domestic abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography.

Housing and advice if you are experiencing Domestic Abuse 

Please see Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence in our Council Housing Services pages.

Domestic Homicide Reviews

Domestic Homicide reviews (DHRs) were established on a statutory basis under section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. Their  purpose is to consider the circumstances that led to the death and to identify where responses to the situation could be improved in the future. Lessons learned from the reviews will help agencies to improve their response to domestic abuse and to work better together to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.

Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) are responsible for undertaking DHRs where the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a relative, household member or someone he or she has been in an intimate relationship with.

The SaferMK Partnership has developed a local process based on statutory guidance (PDF, 149KB).

Last Updated: 1 June 2020