Pregnant women or new mothers are most likely to die at the hands of their partner or former partner, a study into domestic homicides has found.
Familicide is a murder or murder-suicide in which one kills multiple close family members in quick succession.
The study, commissioned by the Department of Justice, found that 180 people were killed in incidents of family violence between 2000-2019.
It recommends the establishment of a new agency to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
It says a national database should also be established for reporting on violent family deaths.
The authors of the report consulted a wide range of stakeholders including family members of victims – and called for the State to take on funeral, medical and legal costs for those bereaved by domestic homicide - including the costs involved with cleaning the scene of the crime.
Speaking after the report’s publication, interim Justice Minister Simon Harris thanks the families for their involvement.
“I want to thank the families from the bottom of my heart for their generosity, their decency and courage in coming forward and feeding into this review,” he said.
“Let’s remember what the purpose of this review was. It is to ask ourselves as a country, are there things we can do better on two fronts. One to reduce the incidence of familicide in the first place and secondly in the horrific circumstance in which it happens to make sure that we perform better.”
He said Government will now convene two groups – an interdepartmental group and a family representative group.
“The solemn commitment I gave the families was that this report isn’t the final word on the matter. It is actually just an enabler now to get on with making progress.”
The department said it is already working on some of the recommendations contained in the report through its ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach to domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.
You can read the full study here.
Reporting from Barry Whyte.