Domestic homicides are an extreme form of violence against women and children across the commonwealth. Many of these deaths appear predictable and preventable with hindsight. Some of this hindsight has come from various death review processes across Canada, the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand that have developed in the past decade. These reviews by interdisciplinary committees shed light on what transpired and how to prevent the same outcome in similar circumstances in the future.
These reviews often highlight patterns of known risk factors prior to the homicide as well as shortcomings in inter-agency collaboration with health, social services, and education and justice professionals. There may be multiple systems and organizations who miss opportunities to share information and develop effective intervention strategies in the community and the justice system.

This presentation outlined the often-repeated lessons learned from these tragedies that include the need for enhanced professional and public education to save lives. Future directions were discussed in terms of the need for better risk assessment, safety planning and risk management by legal and mental health professionals.

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