Homicidal bereavement in the UK: listening to and understanding stories from those bereaved through murder and manslaughter
: (Alternative Format Thesis)

  • Filipa Alves-Costa

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This research explores homicidal bereavement experiences, particularly for individuals with longer-term difficulties after their loss, and evaluates the impact of a residential, psychoeducational intervention offered by a national charity, Escaping Victimhood (EV). To achieve those goals, a longitudinal mixed method design was implemented prospectively with participants as they attended an EV intervention and retrospectively with those who had attended 2-5 years before.The literature review (Chapter 1) demonstrates that violent losses (homicide) tend to have greater impacts on individuals’ lives (e.g., psychological, financial and social difficulties), compared with non-violent deaths, given the particular characteristics of the homicide itself and aftermath post-event. Furthermore, this review highlighted a lack of evidence-based research investigating what psychological interventions have been evaluated. This led to the systematic review (Chapter 2) to evaluate which interventions are most available, as well as how EV elements compared with those interventions.This is followed by three empirical chapters (chapters 3-5). Chapter 3 (qualitative study) explores the individuals’ perceptions about the post-homicide reality, impacts and experiences of support. Chapter 4, a longitudinal study estimates patterns of psychological difficulties, coping and resilience over time and post-EV intervention. Finally, Chapter 5 qualitatively explored how 29 EV participants (14 were interviewed 6-9 months and 15 at 2-5 years post-EV intervention) progressed over time and what changes, barriers to recovery and future hopes they report.The overall discussion (Chapter 6) considers the findings of the two reviews and empirical studies performed where the findings from the outlined independent studies are embedded in three main areas, namely: 1) Post-homicide reality; 2) Psychological difficulties & coping and resilience patterns; and 3) Interventions and support needs. Finally, limitations, recommendations for EV, clinical practice, policy and future research directions are included.
Date of Award31 May 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SponsorsThis work was supported by Escaping Victimhood and the University of Bath Graduate Studentship Allowance (collaborative scholarship).
SupervisorCatherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (Supervisor) & Sarah Halligan (Supervisor)


  • Homicide
  • Bereavement
  • Impacts
  • Coping
  • Resilience
  • Longitudinal
  • Mixed methods design
  • Support

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