Partner Homicide

Intimate Partner Homicide


Intimate Partner Violence and Intimate Partner Homicide

Intimate partner violence is also referred to as domestic violence in most communities. It refers to the insolent behavior which is imposed by one partner to another in a relationship (Sugg, 2015). There are different forms of abuse which include sexual, physical, emotional or psychological. Most cases of violence start as emotional or psychological and develop to physical accompanied by sexual harassment. Intimate partner homicide therefore develops as a result of intimate partner violence. With continued domestic violence, it may become hard for one partner to survive in the relationship which may result to them taking stringent measures which might be harmful (Campbell, 2007).

In the case of the receiver, he or she may develop emotional trauma which may result to self-hatred and become suicidal or develop hatred towards their partner and kill them. One partner may be prone to physical abuse which may cause death. Therefore, continued domestic violence may lead to high risk of intimate partner homicide. For instance, when people in a relationship are arguing, they are likely to start fighting. It may occur by accident that one partner may use more force on the other by for example stabbing the other due to anger. Intimate partner homicide has therefore been on the rise recently and can be termed as one of the factors leading to premature deaths in the world.

Risk Factors Associated With Intimate Partner Homicide

There are several factors that are associated with the increase in intimate partner homicide and they include age gaps and unemployment. For instance where there is a huge difference in the age between partners, it is likely that one will devalue the other and acts as the boss in relationship. Pressure from one partner will lead to domestic violence as one will feel unappreciated. Where one partner is unemployed, there is possibility that one will be devalued or victimized. Superiority of one partner in a relationship increases the risk of domestic violence which in turn leads to intimate partner homicide in the long run (Stith, 2009).

Other factors which may lead to heightened risk of intimate partner homicide include; adultery and economic status (Krug, 2002). Where one partner is cheating on the other, likelihood of violence in the family is heightened which may lead to homicide as one partner may feel threatened or emotionally destroyed (Iratzoqui, 2018). The economic status of the family may also lead to violence. If the bread winner, for instance loses his or her job, tension is experienced in the family. The affected partner may feel unappreciated and may get violent. The other partner may also devalue the unemployed which may cause violence (Sheehan, 2015). With the increase in domestic violence, there is possibility that one partner may lose it and kill his or her partner whether intentionally or accidentally due to emotional breakdowns.

Risks for an officer responding to a domestic call

Police officers are put at risk upon responding to domestic violence calls. The reason behind this is because they have to interfere with personal issues of a family setting or people who are cohabiting. It may therefore seem unpleasant to some partners which may endanger the life of a police officer. There are various risks that are associated with responding to domestic calls by an officer and they include creation of grudges and heightened risk of death (Meyer, 2011).

When a police officer is involved in a domestic violence case, he or she may become a target of the affected partner especially the guilty. Grudges may hence be held and police officers may suffer attacks which lead to a heightened sense of insecurity. Death may be the result of these grudges hence premature death (Meyer, 2011). A police officer who responds to a domestic call is hence at a risk of losing his life in the process of solving the domestic violence case.

Ways to Reduce Intimate Partner Homicides

Counseling Sessions

Counseling should be done on partners intending to be married or cohabit. It is important in that partners will be able to handle their differences amicably without going for extremely dangerous decisions (Krug, 2002). Appreciation of each other will be attained in cases of, for instance, unemployment or harsh economic conditions in the family. Counseling will advocate for open communication and anger management. When partners are counseled, they will be able to easily handle their differences thus reducing domestic violence which in turn reduces the rate of intimate partner homicide.


Social institutions should raise awareness on effects of domestic violence and how to curb occurrence of intimate partner homicides. When people are more aware about the dangers that might be associated with continued violence in homes, they will avoid instances that may lead to occurrence of fights in their homes.


Intimate partner violence has adverse effects such as intimate partner homicide. Therefore, partners should understand of each other so as to reduce instances of fights in their homes. Apart from death, another effect of intimate partner violence, there is possibility of increased disability levels due to physical abuse. Serious health conditions may develop in the victims. Campaigns to create awareness on intimate partner violence and intimate partner homicide should be supported. Those found guilty of violence and homicide should be convicted so as to act as a warningto the others.


Campbell, J. C., Glass, N., Sharps, P. W., Laughon, K., & Bloom, T. (2007). Intimate partner homicide: review and implications of research and policy. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 8(3), 246-269.

Iratzoqui, A., & McCutcheon, J. (2018). The Influence of Domestic Violence in Homicide Cases. Homicide Studies, 1088767917751673.

Krug, E. G., Mercy, J. A., Dahlberg, L. L., & Zwi, A. B. (2002). The world report on violence and health. The lancet, 360(9339), 1083-1088.

Meyer, S., & Carroll, R. H. (2011). When officers die: Understanding deadly domestic violence calls for service. The Police Chief, 78(5), 24-27.

Sheehan, B. E., Murphy, S. B., Moynihan, M. M., Dudley-Fennessey, E., & Stapleton, J. G. (2015). Intimate partner homicide: New insights for understanding lethality and risks. Violence against women, 21(2), 269-288.

Stith, S. M., & McMonigle, C. L. (2009). Risk factors associated with intimate partner homicide. Preventing partner violence: Research and evidence-based intervention strategies, 67-93.

Sugg, N. (2015). Intimate Partner Violence. Medical Clinics, 99(3), 629-649.


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