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Social Workers Call for the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews

The Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW) has today welcomed the introduction of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme, hailing it as a vital mechanism for keeping potential victims of domestic abuse safe, and has drawn attention to the need to build on this progress and introduce Domestic Homicide Reviews in Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the introduction of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme, Colin Reid, NIASW Chair said; “NIASW welcomes today’s announcement and we commend the Department of Justice for its work on this matter. However, there is an urgent need for the Department to follow up the introduction of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme by implementing Domestic Homicide Reviews in Northern Ireland.”

Domestic Homicide Reviews are multi-agency reviews which examine the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a person they were related to, were in an intimate relationship with, or were living with. The lack of arrangements for Domestic Homicide Reviews in Northern Ireland has been raised as an area of concern by members of NIASW.

Mr Reid continued by saying: “Domestic homicides account for approximately 25 per cent of murders in Northern Ireland. It is essential that there is an inter-agency approach to ensure lessons are learned from these tragedies if we are to help prevent similar crimes in future. Given that the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews does not require new legislation or any amendment to existing legislation there is a real opportunity to effect positive change quickly.”

Mr Reid finished by saying: “NIASW has previously recommended to the Department of Justice that an arrangement to pilot test the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews should be put in place. I have today written to the Permanent Secretary reaffirming this recommendation and encouraging swift and decisive action is taken to help prevent future tragedies.”

ENDS

Note to Editors

  • NIASW Chair Colin Reid, will be available for interviews.
  • The Northern Ireland Association of Social Workers (NIASW) is part of the British Association Social Workers (BASW), which is the largest professional body for social workers across the UK. The Association has 21,000 members employed in frontline, management, academic and research positions in all care settings.

Contact

Andy McClenaghan, Campaigns Officer

Phone: 028 9064 8873

Mobile: 07702 517560

Email: a.mcclenaghan@basw.co.uk