Prior Domestic Violence Is the Major Risk Factor for Intimate Partner Homicide

Women are still nine times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner. A Johns Hopkins University research report reviews Domestic Violence.

Based on a review of research conducted over the past 10 years, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing researchers and colleagues have determined that the major risk factor for intimate partner homicide, no matter if a female or male partner is killed, is prior domestic violence.

In the July issue of Trauma, Violence & Abuse, faculty members Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Nancy Glass and Phyllis W. Sharps and other researchers report that while intimate partner homicides have decreased over the past 30 years, women are still nine times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than by a stranger. Most intimate partner homicides were preceded by intimate partner violence. In 83 percent of cases, either the victim or the perpetrator had contact with justice, victim assistance or health agencies in the year prior to the homicide.

Among the risk factors authors cited in addition to prior domestic violence were gun access, estrangement, threats to kill, threats with a weapon, nonfatal strangulation and a stepchild in the home of a female victim. Unemployment by the male partner was also an important factor.