Intimate Partner Femicide: Risk factors and the heterogeneity of male offenders in QLD

Ms Freya Mclachlan1

1Queensland University Of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Intimate partner femicide (IPF) is the homicide of a female individual within the context of a current or former intimate relationship (Bugeja et al., 2015). It can be a lethal consequence of domestic violence (DV) or intimate partner violence (IPV) but can also occur without any violence preceding it (Johnson, 2019). While IPF can occur in all types of relationships, it is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men (Stark, 2018). IPF is a rare event when compared to cases of DV and IPV in Australia and globally, however it is considered largely preventable and a large amount of research has been dedicated to highlighting risk factors that may help in reducing IPF deaths (Bridger et al., 2017; Cullen et al., 2019; Cunha & Goncalves, 2016). Widely accepted risk factors of IPF include previous violence, an offender’s criminal history, excessive use of alcohol or other drugs, separation, coercive and controlling behaviours, and non-fatal strangulation (Dobash & Dobash, 2015; Messing & Thaller, 2013; Spencer & Stith, 2018). This presentation will discuss a research project conducted as part of a PhD which aims to examine these risk factors and offender behaviours using a feminist lens (see Johnson, 2008; Stark, 2007). This project collected risk factors and analysed offender behaviour from Australian cases of male perpetrated IPF. Using statistical quantitative analysis as well as qualitative narrative analysis it was found that certain offender behaviour and risk factors were significantly linked with IPF. Further to this, offenders clustered in certain groups based on particular risk factors and behaviours. These findings confirm recent research that seeks to highlight patterns in offender behaviour prior to IPF and adds to the knowledge of understanding male IPF offenders and how to prevent future deaths.


Freya is a PhD Candidate at QUT. Freya has a double degree in Criminology and Psychology (Griffith) and a Masters of Criminology (Griffith). Her interests lie in domestic violence, intimate partner femicide, and the behaviours of male offenders. She is due to complete her PhD in February 2022.


Dec 08 2021