Can Justice System Interventions Prevent Intimate Partner Homicide? An Analysis of Rates of Help Seeking Prior to Fatality

Vijetha Koppa, Jill Messing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When women are killed, they are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than anyone else, and a substantial number of women who are killed by an intimate were abused by that intimate partner before their death. The proportion of men killed by an intimate partner is much lower and prior research indicates that male intimate partner homicide victims are likely to abuse their partners prior to their deaths. However, limited research has examined the criminal and civil justice help seeking of intimate partner homicide victims. This study examines administrative data from one large urban police jurisdiction to understand rates of help seeking by homicide victims in the 1 to 3 years prior to the homicide. Over 4 years (2010-2014), 197 women and 776 men were killed. The proportion of women killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 39.6%, and the proportion of men killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 3.9%. Police had been in contact with the victim of intimate partner femicides for a domestic violence complaint in 91% of cases in the 3 years prior to the femicide (44.9% resulted in arrest), with an average of 6.2 visits per contacted victim. Among male intimate partner homicide victims, 73.3% had been the complainant on a domestic violence case (38.1% resulted in arrest). Few (<10%) victims sought protection orders before the homicide. Over the 3 years prior to their deaths, 36.7% of male homicide victims and 9.0% of femicide victims had been the suspect in a domestic violence case. Results indicate high rates of engagement of police officers with intimate partner homicide victims before their deaths, and highlight the opportunity for homicide prevention through integration of risk assessment (to identify high-risk cases) and enhanced criminal justice and social service interventions in high-risk cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Homicide
Social Justice
Domestic Violence
Police
Criminal Law
Spouse Abuse
Social Work
Research

Keywords

  • domestic violence
  • femicide
  • help seeking
  • intimate partner homicide
  • intimate partner violence
  • legal intervention
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

@article{0cbc07ee5db541278b712d457024d36c,
title = "Can Justice System Interventions Prevent Intimate Partner Homicide? An Analysis of Rates of Help Seeking Prior to Fatality",
abstract = "When women are killed, they are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than anyone else, and a substantial number of women who are killed by an intimate were abused by that intimate partner before their death. The proportion of men killed by an intimate partner is much lower and prior research indicates that male intimate partner homicide victims are likely to abuse their partners prior to their deaths. However, limited research has examined the criminal and civil justice help seeking of intimate partner homicide victims. This study examines administrative data from one large urban police jurisdiction to understand rates of help seeking by homicide victims in the 1 to 3 years prior to the homicide. Over 4 years (2010-2014), 197 women and 776 men were killed. The proportion of women killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 39.6{\%}, and the proportion of men killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 3.9{\%}. Police had been in contact with the victim of intimate partner femicides for a domestic violence complaint in 91{\%} of cases in the 3 years prior to the femicide (44.9{\%} resulted in arrest), with an average of 6.2 visits per contacted victim. Among male intimate partner homicide victims, 73.3{\%} had been the complainant on a domestic violence case (38.1{\%} resulted in arrest). Few (<10{\%}) victims sought protection orders before the homicide. Over the 3 years prior to their deaths, 36.7{\%} of male homicide victims and 9.0{\%} of femicide victims had been the suspect in a domestic violence case. Results indicate high rates of engagement of police officers with intimate partner homicide victims before their deaths, and highlight the opportunity for homicide prevention through integration of risk assessment (to identify high-risk cases) and enhanced criminal justice and social service interventions in high-risk cases.",
keywords = "domestic violence, femicide, help seeking, intimate partner homicide, intimate partner violence, legal intervention, prevention",
author = "Vijetha Koppa and Jill Messing",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0886260519851179",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Interpersonal Violence",
issn = "0886-2605",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Can Justice System Interventions Prevent Intimate Partner Homicide? An Analysis of Rates of Help Seeking Prior to Fatality

AU - Koppa, Vijetha

AU - Messing, Jill

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - When women are killed, they are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than anyone else, and a substantial number of women who are killed by an intimate were abused by that intimate partner before their death. The proportion of men killed by an intimate partner is much lower and prior research indicates that male intimate partner homicide victims are likely to abuse their partners prior to their deaths. However, limited research has examined the criminal and civil justice help seeking of intimate partner homicide victims. This study examines administrative data from one large urban police jurisdiction to understand rates of help seeking by homicide victims in the 1 to 3 years prior to the homicide. Over 4 years (2010-2014), 197 women and 776 men were killed. The proportion of women killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 39.6%, and the proportion of men killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 3.9%. Police had been in contact with the victim of intimate partner femicides for a domestic violence complaint in 91% of cases in the 3 years prior to the femicide (44.9% resulted in arrest), with an average of 6.2 visits per contacted victim. Among male intimate partner homicide victims, 73.3% had been the complainant on a domestic violence case (38.1% resulted in arrest). Few (<10%) victims sought protection orders before the homicide. Over the 3 years prior to their deaths, 36.7% of male homicide victims and 9.0% of femicide victims had been the suspect in a domestic violence case. Results indicate high rates of engagement of police officers with intimate partner homicide victims before their deaths, and highlight the opportunity for homicide prevention through integration of risk assessment (to identify high-risk cases) and enhanced criminal justice and social service interventions in high-risk cases.

AB - When women are killed, they are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than anyone else, and a substantial number of women who are killed by an intimate were abused by that intimate partner before their death. The proportion of men killed by an intimate partner is much lower and prior research indicates that male intimate partner homicide victims are likely to abuse their partners prior to their deaths. However, limited research has examined the criminal and civil justice help seeking of intimate partner homicide victims. This study examines administrative data from one large urban police jurisdiction to understand rates of help seeking by homicide victims in the 1 to 3 years prior to the homicide. Over 4 years (2010-2014), 197 women and 776 men were killed. The proportion of women killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 39.6%, and the proportion of men killed by an intimate or ex-intimate partner was 3.9%. Police had been in contact with the victim of intimate partner femicides for a domestic violence complaint in 91% of cases in the 3 years prior to the femicide (44.9% resulted in arrest), with an average of 6.2 visits per contacted victim. Among male intimate partner homicide victims, 73.3% had been the complainant on a domestic violence case (38.1% resulted in arrest). Few (<10%) victims sought protection orders before the homicide. Over the 3 years prior to their deaths, 36.7% of male homicide victims and 9.0% of femicide victims had been the suspect in a domestic violence case. Results indicate high rates of engagement of police officers with intimate partner homicide victims before their deaths, and highlight the opportunity for homicide prevention through integration of risk assessment (to identify high-risk cases) and enhanced criminal justice and social service interventions in high-risk cases.

KW - domestic violence

KW - femicide

KW - help seeking

KW - intimate partner homicide

KW - intimate partner violence

KW - legal intervention

KW - prevention

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067822348&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85067822348&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0886260519851179

DO - 10.1177/0886260519851179

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Interpersonal Violence

JF - Journal of Interpersonal Violence

SN - 0886-2605

ER -