Risk factors for intimate partner homicide in England and Wales

Jennifer Chopra, Laura Sambrook, Shane McLoughlin, Rebecca Randles, Marek Palasinski, Victoria Blinkhorn

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Intimate partner homicides are often situated within the context of domestic abuse, and although less prevalent than domestic abuse, there have been several multi-agency approaches to understanding the risk for these fatal crimes. Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) were introduced in 2011 to provide information to help with assessing such risk. This paper aims to analyse DHRs in England and Wales to investigate/determine risk factors for domestic homicide following intimate partner abuse. All publicly available DHRs published between July 2011 and November 2020 where the victim and perpetrator were or had been intimate partners (N = 263) were retrieved from Community Safety Partnership websites in England and Wales. A quantitative design was used to extract data from DHRs, and descriptive and inferential statistics were generated by SPSS 26. Findings identified risk factors relating to domestic abuse, including stalking, separation, and the victim being in a new relationship. Sociodemographic risk factors included higher levels of deprivation, lower income and higher barriers to housing and services. This highlights the role of both individual and sociodemographic factors in domestic homicides, and particularly the need for greater socioeconomic security for victims of domestic abuse. In conclusion, though much of the data is in line with previous research, our analysis highlights the pivotal role of regional poverty, with comfortable socioeconomic conditions offering protection against intimate partner homicides. This research suggests important directions for future research and makes a valuable contribution to a more in-depth understanding of the relationship between domestic abuse and intimate partner homicide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e3086-e3095
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number5
Early online date17 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Feb 2022


  • deprivation
  • domestic abuse
  • domestic homicide
  • intimate partner homicide
  • risk factors
  • sociodemographic factors
  • stalking


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