Victoria, Australia Establishes Domestic Homicide Review
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 9:55 AM

On 23 November 2008, media in Sydney, Austrailia reported that Victoria became the first Australian state to establish a domestic homicide review program. The program was created in response to research conducted by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Their research showed the legal system’s inability to prevent domestic violence offenders from murdering their victims. Among other “red flag” behavior, researchers found that nearly 80% of the domestic violence murders they reviewed were preceded by actual or pending separation. Before that research, the New South Wales Ombudsman, Bruce Barbour, studied police responses to domestic violence in 2006.  He was the first to call for a domestic violence review program.

The domestic homicide review team will review all the ways domestic violence families interacted with community and government entities before the murders, looking for weaknesses in the system. Where they find clear patterns, the team will suggest policy and training changes for specific entities.

Compiled from: Pollard, Ruth, The Sydney Morning Herald, Call for Domestic Homicide Review (24 November 2008).