It is one of the best things that can happen for a researcher – when your research starts to have a real world impact in a way you hoped it would. This has been happening with the homicide timeline. There have been many impacts, but the most interesting for us has been in the way it is starting to be used in case work. I want to share just some examples, though I have to keep the details confidential.
- A report was completed for a Judge sentencing a man who had been found guilty of stalking a former partner. This was a very high risk case, and the report helped to ensure that the sentence considered the ongoing risk and threat. An extra licence period was added for public protection.
- A police officer handling a case of stalking was frustrated at the CPS decision to take no further action. The officer took the timeline to the CPS and the decision was reversed. The offender in this case was charged.
- A victim advocate used the timeline to help a lawyer explain the ongoing risk from an abuser when considerations were being made in the family court.
- A psychologist changed their advice to a victim who was suffering ongoing abuse from a former partner after having the timeline training.
- A Ministry of Defence officer changed the way they and their team risk assess their cases, and there have been different welfare interventions.
- A DWP case worker has been able to work more effectively with a client in a case of stalking, especially around managing and assessing risk.
- The chair of a Domestic Homicide Review panel used the timeline to understand and organise a complex case.
These are small examples of improving practice, and more confident professionals. But I have to include the number of victims, and family members bereaved through domestic homicide, who have told us how the timeline has helped them understand what happened and organise their thoughts. Some of these people have been the most passionate advocates for informing professionals of this research.
We are absolutely delighted, and would welcome contact from any professional whose work has been influenced in any way by the timeline, and any victims, survivors, or family members, who feel the research has helped them in any way. This helps us develop and improve our work.