Frank Mullane is the CEO of Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA), a centre of excellence for reviews after domestic homicide and for specialist peer support.
Frank helped introduce Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) and continues to enhance practice. He is a Home Office appointed assessor of DHRs. He co-authored a book “Domestic Abuse, Homicide and Gender” (2014) and had three chapters published, including in Domestic Homicide and Death Reviews (2017) edited by Myrna Dawson.
Frank developed a unique model for families to be integral to reviews. Frank’s sister Julia and nephew William Pemberton were murdered in 2003.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Gloucestershire University, sits on the national victims’ panel, and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. Frank is also on the Assessment Panel for the recruitment of the Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner, and sits on the National Victims’ Panel chaired by a Justice Minister.
Key note title
Domestic Abuse: It’s all about Status
Status is at the heart of the domestic abuse environment. Women have less status because they suffer more serious domestic abuse and domestic homicide. After death, that status may drop further as she is blamed. Her family and friends have less status. Their representations to the State will struggle to attract legal aid but the statutory agencies about which they complain will have all the legal help they need. Many of the front-line workers being questioned, as part of a Domestic Homicide Review, will have less status as their bosses limit what they can say and instill fear and blame.
This collective and widespread lack of status means new victims will have low status, as Domestic Homicide Reviews will not identify enough relevant learning. Ensuring the story of the deceased is told accurately can restore some status to her legacy. Advocating for families and friends enables them to influence, inform and help make useful, the statutory enquiries that follow. Freeing up professionals to admit weaknesses and frustrations and supporting them to be as transparent as possible might conceive more learning. And we are gathered in the city in which the criminologist Nils Christie was born and died. And his great work on the Ideal Victim (1986) is hugely relevant today.