Article

Older adults and violence: an analysis of Domestic Homicide Reviews in England involving adults over 60 years of age

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Abstract

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) are conducted when an individual aged 16 or over appears to have died from violence, abuse or neglect by a person to whom they are related or with whom they are in an intimate relationship or who is a member of the same household. DHRs aim to identify lessons to be learned, to improve service responses to domestic abuse and to contribute to prevention of domestic abuse/homicide. We submitted Freedom of Information requests to English Local Authorities to identify DHRs where victim, perpetrator or both were aged over 60. Collected Reports and/or Executive Summaries were thematically analysed. Analysis identified four key themes in the context of the key relationship and caring: major mental illness of the perpetrator; drug and/or alcohol abuse; financial issues; and a history of domestic abuse in key or family relationships. We analysed 14 adult family homicides, 16 intimate partner homicides and five homicide–suicides. Age per se did not emerge as a significant factor in our analysis. Terminology needs to be standardised, and training/education regarding risk assessment needs to be improved in relation to age, myths around ageing/dementia and stresses of caring. Management of mental illness is a key factor. A central repository of DHR Reports accessible for research and subject to regular review would contribute to maximising learning and improving practice.

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... Coercive control, in particular, suppresses victimsurvivors' autonomy, liberty, personhood and dignity. 5 Analyses of hundreds of UK multiagency reviews of death and harm (domestic homicide reviews, safeguarding adults reviews, and serious case reviews) [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] show that the UK's National Health Service (NHS) has more contact with victims and perpetrators than any other agency or service. [7][8][9][10] One analysis illustrated that the NHS is the most common target for recommendations in domestic homicide reviews. ...
... 5 Analyses of hundreds of UK multiagency reviews of death and harm (domestic homicide reviews, safeguarding adults reviews, and serious case reviews) [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] show that the UK's National Health Service (NHS) has more contact with victims and perpetrators than any other agency or service. [7][8][9][10] One analysis illustrated that the NHS is the most common target for recommendations in domestic homicide reviews. 7 A frequently cited failing across these analyses is that healthcare professionals (HCPs) did not properly document [6][7][8][9][10][11][12] and/or share information [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] related to DVA. ...
... [7][8][9][10] One analysis illustrated that the NHS is the most common target for recommendations in domestic homicide reviews. 7 A frequently cited failing across these analyses is that healthcare professionals (HCPs) did not properly document [6][7][8][9][10][11][12] and/or share information [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] related to DVA. Resultantly, no front-line professional had the whole picture of risk and no-one responded to the risk. ...
Article
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Background Over two million adults experience domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in England and Wales each year. Domestic homicide reviews often show that health services have frequent contact with victims and perpetrators, but healthcare professionals (HCPs) do not share information related to DVA across healthcare settings and with other agencies or services. Aim We aimed to analyse and highlight the commonalities, inconsistencies, gaps and ambiguities in English guidance for HCPs around medical confidentiality, information sharing or DVA specifically. Setting The English National Health Service. Design and method We conducted a desk-based review, adopting the READ approach to document analysis. This approach is a method of qualitative health policy research and involves four steps for gathering, and extracting information from, documents. Its four steps are: (1) Ready your materials, (2) Extract data, (3) Analyse data and (4) Distill your findings. Documents were identified by searching websites of national bodies in England that guide and regulate clinical practice and by backwards citation-searching documents we identified initially. Results We found 13 documents that guide practice. The documents provided guidance on (1) sharing information without consent, (2) sharing with or for multiagency risk assessment conferences (MARACs), (3) sharing for formal safeguarding and (4) sharing within the health service. Key findings were that guidance documents for HCPs emphasise that sharing information without consent can happen in only exceptional circumstances; documents are inconsistent, contradictory and ambiguous; and none of the documents, except one safeguarding guide, mention how coercive control can influence patients’ free decisions. Conclusions Guidance for HCPs on sharing information about DVA is numerous, inconsistent, ambiguous and lacking in detail, highlighting a need for coherent recommendations for cross-speciality clinical practice. Recommendations should reflect an understanding of the manifestations, dynamics and effects of DVA, particularly coercive control.
... Instituted in the USA in 1990, DVFR/ DHRs have subsequently been adopted both by federal and national governments (Pow et al., 2015;Websdale, 1999). These multi-agency reviews undertaken following a domestic homicide aim to identify lessons to be learned, develop services, and prevent future domestic homicides (Benbow et al., 2019;Bugeja et al., 2013;Websdale, 1999). They offer, as part of a public health approach to domestic violence and abuse (DVA), the opportunity for systemic and structural changes, as well as increased public awareness, particularly in the local areas where the domestic homicide occurred, although they have utility beyond the local context. ...
... The 11 studies analyzed DVFR/DHRs and the processes used to produce them from several perspectives, either focusing on individual DVFR/DHRs (Benbow et al., 2019;Pobutsky et al., 2014;Robinson et al., 2019;Stanley et al., 2019), annual reports from different jurisdictions (Bugeja et al., 2015;Jaffe & Juodis, 2006;Pow et al., 2015;Reif & Jaffe, 2019), undertaking a survey of those involved in DVFR/DHRs (Storer et al., 2013) or presenting personal reflections on the DVFR/DHR process (Albright et al., 2013;Bent-Goodley, 2013). All made recommendations about the approaches made to producing DVFR/DHRs in their respective jurisdictions and to preventing DVA and future domestic homicides. ...
... Although any training should provide an understanding of the dynamics of DVA, child risk, screening, risk assessment, and the different approaches for intervening (Reif & Jaffe, 2019), some aspects require particular attention. Professionals need to be attuned to the different needs of different groups (Benbow et al., 2019;Storer et al., 2013) to avoid stereotyping. Training that alerts professionals to perpetrators' controlling tactics and develops their ability to encompass wider underpinning evidence, was considered essential (Robinson et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Domestic Violence Fatality Reviews/ Domestic Homicide Reviews (DVFRs/DHRs) are multi-agency reviews aimed at reducing domestic homicides. This study systematically reviews research that examines DVFR/DHR recommendations, impact of these recommendations and proposals for improving DVFR/DHR processes. A narrative synthesis was adopted due to the diversity of the 11 studies reviewed. Themes identified from recommendations included: training and awareness; service provision and coordination; and recommendations for children. Regarding DVFR/DHR processes, standardisation, diverse teams and additional resources were highlighted. There was little evidence of whether DVFR/DHR recommendations were implemented. Findings can strengthen DVFR/DHR operationalisation and impacts.
... Meanwhile, scholarship has largely focused on the secondary analysis of cases and associated recommendations (Sharp-Jeffs and Kelly, 2016; Home Office, 2016b). In other examples, DHRs have been used to explore the experience of specific cohorts, including older people or children (Bracewell et al, 2021;Benbow et al, 2019;Stanley et al, 2019); patterns in abusive relationships (Monckton Smith, 2020); particular forms of abuse (Todd et al, 2021); and system responses (Dheensa, 2020;SCIE, 2020). ...
... One re-occurring theme, related to the focus of this article, is the quality and content of DHR reports (Home Office, 2016a; Stanley et al, 2019). Concerns include, for example, the problematic recording of ethnicity data (Benbow et al, 2019;Chantler et al, 2020). Reflecting this, a systematic review examining 11 DHR/ DVFR studies reported a common recommendation for standardised data collection (Jones et al, 2022). ...
... The most recent government study briefly described using qualitative coding with pre-defined codes (Home Office, 2016a). Other studies refer to some form of thematic analysis (Sharp-Jeffs and Kelly, 2016;Benbow et al, 2019;Todd et al, 2021). Such succinctness might be an artefact of what is considered important: if the focus is on findings it is perhaps unsurprising that methodological considerations are not foregrounded. ...
Article
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Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) are a statutory review process to better understand domestic homicide in England and Wales. As a policy intervention, DHRs are intended to build a picture of the circumstances before such deaths and identify gaps in practice, policy and system response. The rationale is that this learning can improve response to domestic violence and abuse and reduce the likelihood of future homicides. However, little is known about how the DHR process operates, including how knowledge is produced or its subsequent use, including any outcomes. In effect, for the most part, DHRs are a ‘black box’. Yet, researchers are increasingly using DHR reports as a source of data. By locating ourselves within these processes, this article explores the implications of limited engagement with DHRs as a process of knowledge generation to date. It focuses on the implications for researchers, in particular the epistemological and methodological issues that arise, before considering what this might mean for policy and practice. It identifies recommendations to address key gaps in the understanding and use of DHRs for research purposes. Key messages Recognise the potential and challenges of using DHR reports as data. Consider the everyday work processes associated with the production of DHR reports. Concepts in DHRs must be clearly defined to enable robust data collection. Develop a feedback loop between research and practice so each can benefit from and inform the other.
... Recognized risk factors for older homicide victims which are also evident in elder abuse include mental health issues, criminal history, and drug and alcohol use in adult child perpetrators (Benbow et al., 2019;Bows, 2018;Schiamberg & Gans, 2000;Wick et al., 2008). Further factors identified for older adult homicide include older age (Addington, 2013;Karch & Nunn, 2011), neurological impairments and declining health (Benbow et al., 2019;Morton et al., 1998), and social isolation (Ahmed & Menzies, 2002;Akaza et al., 2003;Coelho et al., 2010). ...
... Recognized risk factors for older homicide victims which are also evident in elder abuse include mental health issues, criminal history, and drug and alcohol use in adult child perpetrators (Benbow et al., 2019;Bows, 2018;Schiamberg & Gans, 2000;Wick et al., 2008). Further factors identified for older adult homicide include older age (Addington, 2013;Karch & Nunn, 2011), neurological impairments and declining health (Benbow et al., 2019;Morton et al., 1998), and social isolation (Ahmed & Menzies, 2002;Akaza et al., 2003;Coelho et al., 2010). Community factors include geographic location (Langlois et al., 1995;Shackelford & Mouzos, 2005), crime levels (Titterington & Reyes, 2010;Weaver et al., 2004), proportion of older people, and other demographics including gender and race, proportion of high-risk family units, and regional socioeconomic or cultural factors such as migration, unemployment, and urbanization (Gilbert, 1990;Weaver et al., 2004). ...
... Our logistic regression analysis confirmed that an argumentrelated homicide committed by a family member or acquaintance was involved in over a third of elder homicides (36.1%), and in one quarter (25.2%), the offender was a part of the victim's family (Table 1). This is a recognized and common typology (Benbow et al., 2019;Bows, 2018;Kennedy & Silverman, 1990;Nelsen & Huff-Corzine, 1998). ...
Article
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Background Empirical research investigating older adult homicide is sparse and rarely accumulated for greater insights. This systematic review and meta-analysis quantifies the prevalence and characteristics of homicide victimization among older adults (65 years and older) compared with younger adults (18–64 years). Method We searched Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Cochrane, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, ProQuest, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science for studies published before December 31, 2018 (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews registration: CRD42017054536). Included were English-language, original, peer-reviewed studies describing the homicide of older adults. Excluded were studies not meeting age criteria, residence as an institution, or with insufficient outcome variables. The review included 39 studies; 17 were included in the meta-analysis. Data were extracted via open access or from study authors. Heterogeneity was assessed through study-level random effects estimates. Results Pooled homicide rates per 100,000 population were 2.02 (95% CI [1.23, 3.33]) for older adults ( n = 35,325) and 3.98 (95% CI [2.42, 6.53]) for younger adults ( n = 607,224; rate ratio = .51, 95% CI [0.37, 0.70], p < .001). Proportion estimates for older adults: victim female 46.3%, location home 71.4%, offender familiar 25.2%, compared to stranger, 24.2%, motive argument 36.1%, compared to felony 30.8%, and weapon firearm 24.5%. Older adults were significantly different to younger adult victims ( p = <.001) for female ( OR = 2.5, 95% CI [2.02, 3.10]), home (3.87, 95% CI [3.45, 4.35]), stranger (1.81, 95% CI [1.66, 1.98]), argument (0.33, 95% CI [0.28, 0.39]), felony (2.78, 95% CI [2.58, 2.99]), and firearm (0.38, 95% CI [0.36, 0.40]). Conclusions Homicide against older adults differs from younger adults and warrants specific research and tailored prevention strategies.
... To date, the literature has primarily considered DHR case profiles, notably case circumstances, as well as the learning and recommendations produced (Chantler et al., 2020;Home Office, 2016a;Sharp-Jeffs & Kelly, 2016). DHR data have also been used to explore the experience of specific cohorts, including the experience of children (Stanley et al., 2019) and older people (Benbow et al., 2019). ...
... Challenges with the DHR system have also been identified, albeit as observations made in the course of research rather than, for example, from a process evaluation per se. Issues include how decisions are made to conduct DHRs (Benbow et al., 2019); differences in participant status (Robinson et al., 2019); and concerns with system functioning (Montique, 2019;Neville & Sanders-McDonagh, 2014). The weakness of the UK Government's collation of findings, and the lack of a national repository, have been noted (Neville & Sanders-McDonagh, 2014;Rowlands, 2020a;Sharp-Jeffs & Kelly, 2016). ...
Article
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In England and Wales, Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) examine domestic abuse-related deaths to identify lessons to be learned. However, their emergence as a policy initiative has been little considered. To address this gap, a thematic discourse analysis of policy documents to 2011 was undertaken, examining the justification for, and conceptualization of, DHRs before their implementation. It is argued that DHRs were constructed as a taken-for-granted good, through which multi-agency partners would generate learning while the (gendered) subject was silenced. Attending to aspirations, contradictions, and tensions in the emergence of DHRs has implications for their understanding and operationalization in the present.
... My practice experience has led me to treat such certitude about reliability and validity with caution when DHRs are -as I shall explore below -a contingent process of meaning-making in a multi-agency setting. In another example, Benbow et al. make a valuable contribution about older people and domestic homicide but simply note that ethical approval was not required because DHRs are published documents (Benbow et al., 2019(Benbow et al., , p.1103. As a researcher, I am troubled by the absence of further consideration because, although DHRs are anonymised and published, they remain sensitive. ...
... Second, researchers have begun to identify issues spanning the DHR process. Some have noted that stereotypes may affect decisions to conduct DHRs (Benbow et al., 2019(Benbow et al., , p.1117. Others have highlighted that the account of a homicide in a DHR may be mediated by several factors (Stanley et al., 2019, p.70), including some voices being favoured over others (Robinson et al., 2019, p.22). ...
Article
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Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) are publicly available and provide an anonymised account of intimate partner or family homicides in England and Wales, largely by describing the circumstances before a victim's death. They aim to reduce the likelihood of future homicides by identifying, learning and using this to improve prevention and intervention strategies. Epistemologically, DHRs are infused with ethical tensions. In practice, while statutory guidance sets out how to undertake DHRs, there is no shared ethical code of conduct to assist practitioners in conceptualising or navigating ethical debates and dilemmas. Researchers face similar challenges. As published documents, DHRs are open access and have largely been analysed in aggregate as secondary data. However, their accessibility has led to a lack of critical attention to matters of consent, anonymity or privacy or the discursive practices in their production. To date then, ethical issues have been little considered in DHRs. Utilising a researcher and practitioner perspective, this paper considers ethical issues, in particular those that concern victim subjectivity. This can be described in DHRs as 'victim voice' and is often taken for granted. Conceptual and practical implications are discussed, including considerations for both practitioners and researchers that might more fully foreground victim voice.
... However, there can be delays in making contact commonly because, in contrast to DVFR processes internationally, DHRs commence at the point of the homicide. Thus, the criminal proceedings may initially limit family involvement (Benbow et al., 2019;Sharp-Jeffs & Kelly, 2016). ...
... They noted that only a quarter of adult family DHRs had family involvement (25%), which was less than half of the rate in intimate partner homicide DHRs (58%). While studies to date have taken steps to explicate what this may mean conceptually in terms of the differences between intimate partner and adult family homicide (Benbow et al., 2019;Sharp-Jeffs & Kelly, 2016), by and large, they have not addressed implications for the DHR process itself. The extent to which DHRs engage with the families of perpetrators in intimate partners homicides is also unknown. ...
Article
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Purpose Family involvement is a key element of Domestic Homicide Review (DHR), the form of Domestic Violence Fatality Review (DVFR) found in England and Wales. Family involvement is framed as having dual purposes: first, as a benefit to DHRs, enabling a fuller picture of victims’ experiences; second, as a benefit to families themselves, notably as a therapeutic or cathartic opportunity. However, these dual purposes have been little considered. This conceptual article responds to this absence by interrogating the purpose, process and outcomes of family involvement within DHRs. Method To explicate purpose, process and outcomes, we synthesise policy, practice and the extant empirical and theoretical literature relating to family involvement in DHRs. We supplement this by engaging with a broader body of emerging research on family involvement in other review systems, analysing this through a lens of citizenship and participation. Results Family involvement in DHRs is little explicated and there is a need to better engage with how family are involved in DHRs, as a way of increasing transparency for family rights. By way of response, a tentative conceptual framework is proposed which situates family involvement as demonstrative of systems- and relational-repair. Conclusions The article concludes by arguing for greater attention to the Theory(s) of Change underpinning both the place of the family and their testimony, as well as the DHR system as a whole. Such clarity would benefit family, both as the subject of professional interactions but, critically, as agents in the DHR process in their own right.
... DHRs are carried out under Section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004) and form a crucial part of the Government's strategy to end violence against women and girls (Home Office, 2016a). The main purpose of DHRs is to identify lessons to be learned from past tragedies, improve service responses to domestic abuse and prevent future homicides from taking place (Benbow et al., 2019;Chantler et al., 2019;Monckton-Smith, 2020). The process of carrying out a DHR involves obtaining written reports from agencies who were in contact with the perpetrator and/or the victim to identify the nature of contact, any assessments made in relation to domestic abuse, the support offered or referrals to other agencies (Chantler et al., 2019). ...
... This raises questions about opportunities for intervention within mental health settings for perpetrators specifically. Benbow et al. (2019) analysed DHRs whereby the victim and/ or perpetrator were above the age of 60, finding that major mental illness of the perpetrator, drug and/or alcohol abuse, financial issues and a history of domestic abuse were all key themes. It is important to recognise that domestic homicide occurs across the life course, Previous research has demonstrated that perpetrators of IPH are more likely to be of older age (Loinaz et al., 2017;Caman et al., 2017) have less persistent criminal histories, be less socially disadvantaged (Loinaz et al., 2017;Caman et al., 2017) and show higher levels of suicidal ideation (Caman et al., 2017;Cunha & Gonçalves, 2019) than perpetrators of other types of homicide. ...
Article
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Intimate partner homicides are often situated within the context of domestic abuse, and although less prevalent than domestic abuse, there have been several multi-agency approaches to understanding the risk for these fatal crimes. Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) were introduced in 2011 to provide information to help with assessing such risk. This paper aims to analyse DHRs in England and Wales to investigate/determine risk factors for domestic homicide following intimate partner abuse. All publicly available DHRs published between July 2011 and November 2020 where the victim and perpetrator were or had been intimate partners (N = 263) were retrieved from Community Safety Partnership websites in England and Wales. A quantitative design was used to extract data from DHRs, and descriptive and inferential statistics were generated by SPSS 26. Findings identified risk factors relating to domestic abuse, including stalking, separation, and the victim being in a new relationship. Sociodemographic risk factors included higher levels of deprivation, lower income and higher barriers to housing and services. This highlights the role of both individual and sociodemographic factors in domestic homicides, and particularly the need for greater socioeconomic security for victims of domestic abuse. In conclusion, though much of the data is in line with previous research, our analysis highlights the pivotal role of regional poverty, with comfortable socioeconomic conditions offering protection against intimate partner homicides. This research suggests important directions for future research and makes a valuable contribution to a more in-depth understanding of the relationship between domestic abuse and intimate partner homicide.
... Deteriorating interpersonal conduct and escalating antisocial acts result in an acquired sociopathy. 2 Increasing cognitive impairment causes these patients to misunderstand intimate care and perceive it as a threat, often resulting in outbursts of violence against their caregivers. 3 Available studies (TABLE [4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] ) make evident the incidence of interpersonal violence experienced by caregivers secondary to aggressive acts by patients with dementia. This violence ranges from verbal abuse, including racial slurs, to physical abusesometimes resulting in significant physical injury. ...
Article
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Caring for aggressive patients with dementia can lead to exhaustion, fear, and burnout. These strategies can help improve the welfare of both caregivers and patients.
... Access is also an issue in fatality review, although as a state mandated process, these tend to have formal reporting mechanisms, and can be analysed as a data source. Yet, James notes that in the UK, where DHRs should usually be published, there are often significant delays in doing so and some are not published at all (Benbow et al. 2018;Stanley et al. 2019). The lack of a national repository means the capacity to routinely produce aggregate data and learning is limited (Sharp-Jeffs and Kelly 2016). ...
Article
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Rigorous, comprehensive and timely research are the cornerstone of social and transformative change. For researchers responding to femicide, family and intimate partner homicide, there are substantial challenges around accessing robust data that is complete and fully representative of the experiences and social identities of those affected. This raises questions of how certain social identities are privileged and how the lens of intersectionality may be constrained or enabled through research. Further, there is limited insight into the emotional labour and safety for researchers, and how they experience and mitigate vicarious trauma. We examine these issues through a shared critical reflection and conclude with key recommendations to address the challenges and issues identified. Four researchers examining and responding to femicide, family and intimate partner homicide in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom shared and evaluated their critical reflection. We drew on our experiences and offer insights into processes, impacts and unintended consequences of fatality reviews and research initiatives. There are substantial limitations in accessibility and completeness of data, which has unintended consequences for the construction of social identities of those affected, including how multiple forms of exclusion and structural oppression are represented. Our experiences as researchers are complex and have driven us to implement strategies to mitigate vicarious trauma. We assert that these issues can be addressed by reconceptualizing the goals of data collection and fostering collaborative discussions among those involved in data collection and violence prevention to strengthen research, prevention efforts and safety for all involved.
... It comes from two Home Office reports, of which only one is particularly robust (Home Office 2013b; Home Office 2016); a report commissioned by a non-governmental organisation (Sharp-Jeffs and Kelly 2016); and some regional learning summaries (Warren 2016;Harris 2017; Social Care Institute for Excellence 2020). This is increasingly being supplemented by academic research (Neville and Sanders-McDonagh 2014;Benbow et al. 2018;Chantler et al. 2019;Stanley et al. 2019). ...
Technical Report
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James Rowlands, a researcher and domestic violence worker from Brighton, travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to study ways of improving responses to domestic homicide. He will use his findings to inform how these deaths are reviewed in the UK.
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Increasing evidence documents domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and domestic homicide of adults killed by a relative in non-intimate partner relationships. Most literature focuses on intimate partner violence and homicide, yet non-intimate partner homicides form a substantial but neglected minority of domestic homicides. This article addresses this gap by presenting an analysis from 66 domestic homicide reviews (DHRs) in England and Wales where the victim and perpetrator were related, such as parent and adult child. Intimate partner homicides are excluded. These 66 DHRs were a sub-sample drawn from a larger study examining 317 DHRs in England and Wales.The article contributes towards greater understanding of the prevalence, context and characteristics of adult family homicide (AFH). Analysis revealed five interlinked precursors to AFH: mental health and substance/alcohol misuse, criminal history, childhood trauma, economic factors and care dynamics. Findings indicate that, given their contact with both victims and perpetrators, criminal justice agencies, adult social care and health agencies, particularly mental health services, are ideally placed to identify important risk and contextual factors. Understanding of DVA needs to extend to include adult family violence. Risk assessments need to be cognisant of the complex dynamics of AFH and must consider social-structural and relational-contextual factors. Key messages Understanding of domestic violence and abuse needs to include adult family violence. Risks and dynamics of adult family homicide are complex and must consider social-structural and relational-contextual factors. Criminal justice agencies, social care, substance misuse and mental health services provide opportunities for prevention. </ol
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This article focuses on the important and persistent phenomenon of women killed by their sons. We argue that parricide (the killing of parents) is a gendered form of violence, given that women are disproportionately represented as victims compared to other forms of violence (aside from domestic homicide by current or ex partners) and that son-mother killings are a form of femicide that is often hidden. Not only do they fall under literal definitions of femicide in that they involve women being killed by men, but they also, we contend, fall under motivation-driven definitions as the killing of women by men because they are women and an institutional state failure to protect them as women. Drawing upon analysis of Homicide Index data and 57 case studies of parricide in the United Kingdom, we show that in many cases women are killed by their adult-aged mentally ill sons, within a broader context of ‘parental proximity’, maternal caregiving and intersectional invisibility, which ultimately renders them vulnerable to fatal violence.
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Parricide is underresearched in the UK, and the contexts of this gendered form of violence are poorly understood. Heide’s typology provides an advanced understanding of parricide in the United States, where the majority of parent-killings involve firearms. This article develops a UK-based analysis of the contexts of parricide, combining national statistics with police case study data ( n = 57) and case review data ( n = 21). Our findings indicate that mental illness plays a key role, combined with a gendered context of “parental proximity” and the simultaneous responsibilization and marginalization of parent-victims (particularly mothers), supporting the need for feminist analyses of parricide.
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The purpose of this paper was to conduct a systematic review of the literature on violence and aggressive behavior by and towards older adults in the context of serious mental illness. Literature was identified via comprehensive searches of PsycInfo, MedLine, AgeLine, CINAHL, PubMed, Biomedical Reference Collection, Sociological Abstracts, and Google Scholar. Key findings of the review are as follows: (1) older adults with serious mental illness are at risk for violent and aggressive behavior; (2) there is limited research on aggressive behavior in older adults with serious mental illness who do not have comorbid dementia; and (3) older adults are at increasing risk of experiencing aggressive behaviors from their mentally ill adult children for whom they provide care. Limitations of the available literature reviewed include possible underreporting of violent and aggressive behavior, a lack of consensus regarding the age at which one is considered to be an older adult, and varying subjective experiences across participants regarding what constitutes violent and aggressive behavior. The literature reviewed suggests that preventing and managing aggression and violence by or towards older adults should emphasize a collaborative approach that integrates the social, interpersonal, situational, and cultural contexts both in future research and clinical practice.
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Background Domestic violence homicide is the most extreme form of domestic violence reported worldwide. Although in Mozambique there are public reports of domestic violence homicide, no research has been published that addresses this form of domestic violence describing its pattern. Aim The aim of this study is to describe the pattern of domestic violence homicides in Maputo Province, Mozambique. Method A cross sectional descriptive and quantitative approach was applied using autopsy report data from 2016 to 2017 at the Forensic Medicine Services at Maputo Central Hospital. All cases of death from domestic violence were captured in an Excel database and exported to Stata software for analysis. Descriptive statistics were performed for victim's age, sex, education level, relation to offender, place of occurrence, and means of murder. Logistic regression was applied to investigate associations of intimate partner homicide with these independent variables. Results From the total of 689 autopsies performed on victims of homicide over the period of two years, 96 (13.9%) were victims of domestic violence homicide, 62 (64.6%) males and 34 (35.4%) females. The median age was 35.5 years ranging from 0 to 92 and 31 (32.3%) had school level above primary level. The residence was the place of the homicide in 45 (46.9%) of the cases. As means of killing, suffocation was used in 26 cases (27.1%), use of blunt instrument in 24 (25.0%), and poisoning in 16 (16.7%) cases. Twenty-three (24.0%) cases were victims of intimate partner homicide, and 73 (76.0%) were victims of non-intimate partner homicide. From multivariable logistic regression, intimate partner homicide was found to be positively associated to the victim being female (OR = 6.17, 95% CI 1.28–29.79, p-value 0.024), and use of strangulation (OR = 35.26, 95% CI 2.15–578.07, p-value 0.013) and burning (OR = 17.09, 95% CI 1.65–176.59, p-value 0.017) as means of killing. Conclusion This research contributes to the understanding of the pattern of domestic violence homicide, which will be useful for identification of preventive measures. More research is necessary for understanding the social contexts that serves as precursors for domestic violence in general and homicides that result from it.
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Despite half a century of research on both domestic violence and elder abuse, homicide of older people by a partner or family member (domestic homicide (DH)) remains largely unexplored. This article presents data drawn from a larger parent study examining homicide of older people (aged sixty and over) in the UK. This analysis is based on a subset of cases that would fall within current definitions of DH (n = 221). Analysis reveals differences in DH of older men and women in relation to the perpetrator gender and relationship and differences between intimate-partner homicides and those perpetrated by other family members. Implications for research, theory and practice are discussed.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the terminology used to describe family violence involving older adults in order to stimulate a discussion that may assist in the use of a more appropriate and clearer terminology. Design/methodology/approach Different definitions of terms used to describe violence are considered and the contexts in which they are used. Two cases are described to illustrate the use of overlapping terms, the assumptions that lie behind them and the different actions that they lead to. Findings The authors argue that legal, relational, health (physical and mental) and social perspectives are all useful and integration contributes to a fuller understanding of violence. Originality/value The importance of terminology used to describe family violence involving older adults has been neglected in the past, yet it influences understanding about violent incidents and shapes responses to them.
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This study examined the prevalence and risk factors for intimate partner violence (IPV) among Chinese older couples in Hong Kong. A population representative sample was surveyed. The prevalence of IPV in older adults was found to be quite high in the present study, with a lifetime prevalence ranging from 1.4% to 53.6%, and a past year prevalence ranging from 0.4% to 36.1% for various forms of aggression. Results of logistic regression analyses showed that older persons who were younger among this "older" group, who were not employed, who had a substance abuse problem, who had witnessed parental violence during their childhood, who had a criminal history, who had a low level of assertiveness, who had an anger management problem, who experienced a low level of social support and/or experienced stressful conditions, were all more likely to fall victims of IPV. It is suggested that IPV in older couples is a complex phenomenon that is closely intertwined with other forms of domestic violence, including spousal violence, child abuse, in-law conflicts, and elderly adult abuse. Thus, before we have more definitive and concrete evidence that IPV in older couples should definitively come under the category of elder abuse or IPV, it is advisable to treat it under its own separate category of family violence.
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Violence against older people remains a taboo topic in Poland, and is still an under-recognized phenomenon. The aim of this study was to examine the risk of different types of domestic violence in older people in relation to their health-related quality of life as measured by chronic conditions, functional limitations, psychological well-being, depressive symptoms and feelings of social isolation. A cross-sectional study using a standardized questionnaire in a simple random sample of 518 older citizens of Krakow was carried out. A multidimensional logistic regression of data showed that such factors as poor assessment of psychological health, number of chronic conditions, suffering from emotional and social loneliness and lack of social support in everyday life significantly increased the risk of being a victim of domestic violence in older citizens of Krakow.
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This study examined the nature and extent of domestic violence and its impact on psychosocial functioning among women of different age groups. No differences were found across age groups in the severity of violence, nature of injuries, use of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident, attribution of blame, likelihood to report violence, or rates of childhood physical abuse and depression. However, the older women were more likely to have experienced violence for a longer time, to be in current violent relationships, and to have health and mental health problems than were the younger women. These similarities and differences are discussed in terms of interventions.
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Accounts in both the scientific literature and popular media have brought about increased recognition of the reality of elder abuse. However, relatively little work has examined intimate partner victimization with respect to older adults. In this study, weighted data from cycles 13 (1999) and 18 (2004) of the General Social Survey are pooled to examine how factors uniquely influence the prevalence and risk of emotional, financial, and physical abuse among adults aged 60 and over. Considerations regarding elder abuse committed by spouses, versus abuse of older adults more broadly (by their children and other adults), are also discussed.
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Alzheimer's disease and other dementias may be associated with greater risk for physical abuse than other illnesses of the elderly. The authors examined the relationship between dementia and abusive behavior in a group of demented patients and their caregivers. An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to 1,000 caregivers who called a telephone help line specializing in dementia. Demographic characteristics of patients and caregivers were assessed, the occurrence of abuse was examined, and caregivers completed the Zarit Burden Interview and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale. Questionnaires were completed by 342 caregivers. The mean age of caregivers was 56.1 years; 163 (54.5%) were adult children caring for parents, 111 (37.1%) cared for spouses, and 25 (8.4%) cared for other relatives. Thirty-three caregivers (11.9%) reported that they had directed physically abusive behavior (e.g., pinching, shoving, biting, kicking, striking) toward the dementia patient in their care. These caregivers had been providing care for more years, cared for patients functioning at a lower level, displayed higher burden scores, and displayed higher depression scores than caregivers who reported no abuse. In addition, 92 caregivers (33.1%) reported that the patient directed abuse toward them during the course of providing care. Caregivers who had been abused by patients, in comparison to those who had not, were more likely to direct abusive behavior back toward the patient in their care. These results support the hypothesis that abuse involving cognitively impaired older adults and their caregivers may be associated with the relatively high psychological and physical demands placed on family members who care for relatives with dementia.
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  • L Richards
Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) Case Analysis
  • N Sharp-Jeffs
  • L Kelly