Homicide Research Unit to help communities

Griffith University’s new Homicide Research Unit aims to reduce homicide and lessen its impact on Australian communities.

Director Dr Samara McPhedran (pictured, right) says despite the rarity of homicide, the impacts on families and communities are devastating and long-lasting.

“There is still a lot we don’t know about homicide, and about what types of policies and programs work best at preventing homicide. This unit, the first in Australia will help unravel some of those mysteries,” she said.

“We will be doing research that helps us better understand homicide, its impacts, and its prevention.”

The HRUwill take on a wide range of different projects, including looking atrisk factors for homicide offending, impacts of homicide on children, and evaluating various intervention and supportprograms.

Building on the University’s long-running Violence Research and Prevention Program, the HRU will work closely with government and non-government groups across Australia.

“We want our research to be able to help those agencies as they go about their work,’’ Dr McPhedran says.

“Whether it’s investigating homicides, dealing with homicide offenders in the justice system, or providing aid to loved ones who are left behind, the unit lets academic experts use their knowledge and skills to give something back to the wider community.

“Most importantly, our work is about finding practical and effective strategies to reduce homicide offending, as well as ways to support homicide victims’ loved ones.”