A methodological critique of victim-focussed studies of intimate partner femicide

S.McPhedran*1, L. Eriksson2, P.Mazerolle1,3, H. Johnson4

1 Violence Research and Prevention Program, Griffith University
2 School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University
3 Pro Vice Chancellor (Arts, Education and Law), Griffith University
4 Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa

*corresponding author: s.mcphedran@griffith.edu.au

The consistent over-representation among Australian female homicide victims of women killed by current or former intimate partners highlights the need for improved prevention efforts focussed on reducing this form of extreme violence against women. Although recent high profile cases of intimate partner femicide (IPF) have received considerable media attention and driven public calls for action, the knowledge base around IPF is limited. While emerging evidence identifies many factors associated with IPF perpetration, victim-focussed research is scarce, and – for sadly obvious reasons – IPF victims’ perspectives are not well incorporated into existing research.  Studies that do adopt a victim-focus have a range of methodological limitations.  This presentation will critique existing methods being used to study IPF victimisation, and discuss alternative approaches.


Dr Samara McPhedran holds a PhD in Psychology, awarded by the University of Sydney.  She is currently a Senior Research Fellow with the Griffith University Violence Research and Prevention Program. Prior to her return to academia in 2012, Dr McPhedran spent a number of years in state and federal public service positions, where she worked in social policy development, analysis, and evaluation roles.  She has worked across a range of policy-focussed research fields, with emphasis on lethal violence to the self and others, domestic and family violence, and mental health.

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