Intimate partner homicide: new insights for understanding lethality and risks

Violence Against Women. 2015 Feb;21(2):269-88. doi: 10.1177/1077801214564687. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


Research on covictims, family members, and close friends who have lost loved ones to intimate partner homicide (IPH) is a neglected area of study. We conducted phenomenological interviews with covictims to gain insights into risk and lethality, examined affidavits from criminal case files, and reviewed news releases. The data uncovered acute risk factors prior to the homicide, identified changes in the perpetrators' behavior and the perpetrators' perceived loss of control over the victim, and described barriers that victims faced when attempting to gain safety. Findings suggest that recognizing acute risk factors is an important area for future IPH research.

Keywords: acute risk factor; covictims; intimate partner homicide; lethality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Comprehension
  • Crime Victims
  • Criminals
  • Female
  • Homicide*
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Partners
  • Spouse Abuse / mortality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires