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Intimate Partner Homicide: New Insights for Understanding Lethality and Risks

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2015 Pages: 269-288
Brynn E. Sheehan; Sharon B. Murphy; Mary M. Moynihan; Erin Dudley-Fennessey; Jane G. Stapleton
Date Published
February 2015
20 pages

Research on covictims, family members, and close friends who have lost loved ones to intimate partner homicide (IPH) is a neglected area of study. The study reported in this article conducted phenomenological interviews with covictims to gain insights into risk and lethality, examined affidavits from criminal case files, and reviewed news releases.


The data identified 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. (Publisher abstract modified)