Understanding Domestic Homicide in Scotland: Exploring Patterns, Promoting Safeguarding

Project Details


In the UK, over the past ten years, on average a woman is killed by her partner or former partner every 4 days. While our understanding of domestic abuse in all its forms has increased in recent years, we know significantly less about how this
leads to homicide. Current data sets fail to unpack the complexity of factors that precede domestic homicide, yet this knowledge and understanding of the people, places and their interactions may offer us the best opportunities to prevent further deaths. Similarly, some deaths are 'hidden' such as suicides that are preceded by domestic abuse, but little is known about this phenomenon. It is these gaps in knowledge that this collaborative project between Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Glasgow, Police Scotland and violence against women and girls (VAWG) public and third
sector partners seeks to fill.
Our overarching aim is to work collaboratively and build on our existing relationships between the universities and Police
Scotland, the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and relevant third sector organisations to more fully understand domestic homicide of women, the patterns of behaviour that precede it, the challenges it presents in terms of prevention, and the opportunities that may exist for safeguarding. We aim to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practice
between us as we co-design the project and create a community of practice around domestic homicide in Scotland. The project will begin by examining existing literature on domestic homicide before undertaking a focussed pilot study analysing police case file data for a sample of domestic homicides over a period of ten years. This will create a unique 'data profile' for each case derived from information about victims, perpetrators, the offence and context in which it occurred. We will develop offence timelines and typologies and unpack the complex interpersonal and contextual dynamics and patterns across cases that we analyse. Our work will also draw on social network analysis to understand the dynamics of perpetration, victimisation and risk, and create a visual representation of the dynamic nature of relationships, events and
contexts to identify future opportunities for safeguarding and prevention.
Our project will be supported by four focussed collaborative workshops with project partners - Police Scotland and public
StatusNot started

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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