This 11-city study sought to identify risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships.
Proxies of 220 intimate partner femicide victims identified from police or medical examiner records were interviewed, along with 343 abused control women.
Preincident risk factors associated in multivariate analyses with increased risk of intimate partner femicide included perpetrator’s access to a gun and previous threat with a weapon, perpetrator’s stepchild in the home, and estrangement, especially from a controlling partner. Never living together and prior domestic violence arrest were associated with lowered risks. Significant incident factors included the victim having left for another partner and the perpetrator’s use of a gun. Other significant bivariate-level risks included stalking, forced sex, and abuse during pregnancy.
There are identifiable risk factors for intimate partner femicides.