Limitations of research into pathways to intimate partner homicide

Ms Hayley Boxall1, Ms Siobhan Lawler1, Ms Christie Franks1, Ms Laura Doherty1

1Australian Institute Of Criminology, Canberra, Australia

The Pathways to Intimate Partner Homicide project involved the analysis of 200 incidents of male-perpetrated homicide of a female intimate partner using three main data sources: the AIC’s National Homicide Monitoring Program, coronial documents accessed through the National Coronial Information System and sentencing remarks. Using these three distinct data sources has provided the authors with an insight into some limitations associated with research into intimate partner homicide.

This presentation provides an overview of the key limitations of the data sources used for the Pathways to Intimate Partner Homicide project, focusing on data availability (including information about victims and their families) and factors impacting data quality. The presentation will consider issues including variability among data sources for Indigenous and non-Indigenous victims and offenders, how Coroners and Judges engaged with information about previous domestic violence and intoxication (and what that meant for potential prevention of homicides), the impact of the offender’s plea on data availability and how the data varied between data sources, jurisdictions and years. Ultimately, these learnings can be used to benefit the development of intimate partner homicide datasets and research in future.


Laura Doherty is a Research Analyst in the Statistical Collections team at the Australian Institute of Criminology. Laura contributes to the AIC’s National Homicide Monitoring Program and the National Deaths in Custody Program where she regularly uses coronial data to support her research. Laura has published on homicide, deaths in custody and drug use in Australia.


Aug 30 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm