Intimate partner homicide: review and implications of research and policy

Trauma Violence Abuse. 2007 Jul;8(3):246-69. doi: 10.1177/1524838007303505.


Current rates of intimate partner homicide of females are approximately 4 to 5 times the rate for male victims, although the rates for both have decreased during the past 25 years. The major risk factor for intimate partner homicide, no matter if a female or male partner is killed, is prior domestic violence. This review presents and critiques the evidence supporting the other major risk factors for intimate partner homicide in general, and for intimate partner homicide of women (femicide) in particular, namely guns, estrangement, stepchild in the home, forced sex, threats to kill, and nonfatal strangulation (choking). The demographic risk factors are also examined and the related phenomena of pregnancy-related homicide, attempted femicide, and intimate partner homicide-suicide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Homicide / ethnology
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Offenses / ethnology
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Social Responsibility
  • Social Values / ethnology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spouse Abuse / ethnology
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology