Suicide statistics highlight need for therapeutic support

A project examining domestic abuse-related deaths in England and Wales has recorded an increase in suspected suicides.

The Domestic Homicides and Suspected Victim Suicides 2022-2023 Report found that a total of 242 domestic abuse-related deaths were recorded between April 2022 to March 2023, comprising:

  • 93 suspected victim suicides following domestic abuse
  • 80 intimate partner homicides
  • 31 adult family homicides
  • 23 unexpected deaths
  • 11 child deaths
  • 4 ‘other’ deaths (individuals living together who are not family members or intimate partners)

The number of suspected victim suicides after domestic abuse has overtaken intimate partner homicides for the first time in the three-year Home Office-funded study.

The domestic abuse commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, said the increase was likely due to increased awareness and improvements in recording information by officers, but she added: “Every life lost to domestic abuse is one too many and a failure by our systems.

“That these devastating deaths are better identified is encouraging, but Government must build on this, equipping the police and forensic investigators to take an investigative approach and properly hold perpetrators to account for their role in suicides.

“The more we know about domestic abuse-related deaths, the closer we are to preventing them. This is a pivotal moment in this work and I hope this vital project can continue to raise awareness among police and other partner agencies.”

The report statistics highlight the urgent need for action to ensure the mental health impacts of domestic abuse are fully recognised and women can access the life-saving support they need.

Nicole Jacobs added: “This is a public health issue. Mental health services must be equipped to recognise and respond to domestic abuse through trained and sensitive routine inquiry and strong connections with local domestic abuse services. I surveyed 4,000 victims and survivors of domestic abuse and found that counselling and other therapeutic support was the number one service victims said they wanted.”

At SATEDA we offer a unique journey of therapeutic support to women seeking to escape and heal from the trauma of domestic abuse.

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