Supporting children and young people bereaved by domestic homicide

Content type
Event date

13 September 2023, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (AEST)


Eva Alisic, Kathryn Joy, Joe Tucci, Rachel Carson




Sensitive Content Warning

This webinar discusses instances where one parent has murdered the other and how this impacts children within the family. An adult with lived experience will discuss their childhood. Please take care while listening and if you want some support please call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. You can also reach out to Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service on 1300 657 380. 

If you are in immediate danger, call Police on 000.

This webinar was held on Wednesday, 13 September 2023.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, will be published soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive a notification when these resources are available.

About this webinar

The murder of a child’s parent in the context of domestic violence is a traumatic experience that has immediate and long-term effects on a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development. Children and young people may experience ongoing distress, safety concerns and family conflict. Many also face the loss of the perpetrator parent.

Although supporting these children and young people is critical, there are no evidence-based guidelines to determine who is best placed to care for them or how. Decisions about their lives are often made by family, the police, child protection and other professionals with little input from the children themselves.

The voices of these survivors – as children and as adults – are crucial to developing a greater understanding of their experiences in relation to living arrangements, family and peer relationships and wellbeing.

This webinar will help you:

  • understand the prevalence and impact of domestic homicide on children and young people, including their experiences of trauma and bereavement
  • understand the importance of giving children and young people a voice in decisions about their lives
  • develop insight into the key considerations for practitioners and services when working with individuals and families impacted by domestic homicide (including navigating short- and long-term impacts)
  • develop insight into how to better support individuals and families impacted by domestic homicide.

The webinar will interest those working in child and family services, child protection, family law, health and education.

Related resources

Related resources

The children left behind by domestic homicide  
Children who lose a parent to domestic homicide are often treated as collateral damage. This University of Melbourne research is putting the focus back on the child.

Resources: Children and Young People Bereaved by Domestic Homicide  
This resource is for professionals who are supporting a child or young person who has lost a parent due to intimate partner violence.

Children’s perspectives on life and well-being after parental intimate partner homicide   
This journal article examines how willing children are to express their views on key issues related to their life after a parental intimate partner homicide, such as contact with the perpetrating parent and living arrangements.


Professor Eva Alisic, Child Trauma and Recovery, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Professor Eva Alisic is based at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (University of Melbourne). She studies how young people and families deal with traumatic experiences and disadvantage, with the aim of strengthening support and services. Since 2010, she has led a program of research regarding the impact of domestic homicide, first in the Netherlands and currently in Australia.

Kathryn Joy (they/them), co-researcher with lived experience

Kathryn (they/them) lost their mother at the hands of their father when they were just a few months old. Kathryn has engaged in Social Work studies and is an experienced activist in the domains of domestic violence, social justice and climate justice. They have been a co-investigator on research regarding domestic homicide for several years. They are also deeply involved in the creation of the documentary KILLJOY, directed/produced by Vincent Lamberti and Lisa Albert, which will be released in 2024. 

Dr Joe Tucci, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Childhood Foundation

Dr Joe Tucci is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Childhood Foundation and is also the inaugural Chairperson of the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse. Joe is a registered psychologist and social worker with significant experience in child protection and working therapeutically with children. He has worked in the field of child abuse for the past 30 years.


Dr Rachel Carson is a Senior Research Fellow and Executive Manager of the Family Law, Family Violence and Elder Abuse Research Team at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She has twenty years’ experience undertaking socio-legal research focusing on the Australian family law system, including examining the intersections between the family law system and family violence, and particularly legislative, policy and practice reforms designed to improve the system.

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