In the past two decades, over 1,000 Australian children and young people have lost a parent due to domestic homicide. They often experience multiple losses: one parent is deceased, the other is detained, on the run or has died by suicide, and in many cases the home has become a crime scene.
In the aftermath of a domestic homicide, far-reaching decisions about the future of these children and young people are made by family, the police, child protection and other professionals. This project aims to contribute to improving support for children and young people who have lost a parent due to domestic homicide.
Specifically, our objective is to generate a better understanding of children and young people's living arrangement experiences, family and peer relationships, and identity development. An important focus of the project is on hearing the perspectives of young people and adults with lived experience. This knowledge is relevant to policy makers and other professionals working with families affected by domestic homicide, as well as to family members looking after children and young people who have been bereaved.
Our team, led by Associate Professor Eva Alisic, brings academic and clinical expertise from the University of Melbourne and the University of Edinburgh, lived experience, and artistic input. The core members of our team are Anna Barrett, John Devaney, John Frederick, Kathryn Joy, Katitza Marinkovic, Lisa Albert, Mira Vasileva, Cathy Humphries, Rowena Conroy and Vincent Lamberti.
This project is funded by the Australian Research Council Future Fellowship scheme, a University of Melbourne Establishment Grant, and a one-year grant from the Myer Foundation.
Resources and publications:
- Alisic, E. & Humphreys, C. (2019, 30 November). The children left behind by domestic homicide. Pursuit. Retrieved from https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/the-children-left-behind-by-domestic-homicide
- Alisic, E. (2018, 6 August). Children who have lost a parent to family violence need to be listened to. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/children-who-have-lost-a-parent-to-family-violence-need-to-be-listened-to-88242
- Alisic, E., Groot, A., Snetselaar, H., Stroeken, T., Hehenkamp, L. & van de Putte, E. (2017). Children’s perspectives on life and well-being after parental intimate partner homicide, European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8:sup6, https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2018.1463796
- Alisic, E., Groot, A., Snetselaar, H., Stroeken, T., & van de Putte, E. (2017). Children bereaved by fatal intimate partner violence: A population-based study into demographics, family characteristics and homicide exposure. PloS one, 12(10), e0183466. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183466
- Alisic, E., Krishna, R. N., Groot, A., & Frederick, J. W. (2015). Children's Mental Health and Well-Being After Parental Intimate Partner Homicide: A Systematic Review. Clinical child and family psychology review, 18(4), 328–345. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10567-015-0193-7
- Trauma Recovery Lab https://trauma-recovery.net/
- Roundtable on children who are victims of crime, 31 January 2020, co-hosted by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare.