Pathways to intimate partner homicide in Australia: Findings from the analysis of an Australian sample

Dr Hayley Boxall1

1Australian Institute Of Criminology

Intimate partner homicide is the most common form of homicide in Australia. However, an understanding of intimate partner homicide incidents in Australia, particularly the nature and course of the relationship between the victim and offender, is currently limited. This gap in the research is notable considering the importance of such information for identifying potential intervention points, as well as events and behaviours that could foreshadow fatal outcomes within relationships.

Based on the analysis of 200 incidents of male-perpetrated homicide of a female intimate partner that occurred in Australia over a 10-year period, this paper describes three key pathways that were identified: Fixated Threat, Persistent and Disorderly and Deterioration/Acute Stressors. These pathways were differentiated from one another using a number of key criteria, including the nature of violence and abuse within the relationship, the extent to which the offender was ‘visible’ to criminal justice agencies, the locus of control within the relationship, the status of the relationship at time of the lethal violence and the presence of factors that impacted the ability of the offender to regulate their emotions effectively. The implications of these pathways for intervention and disruption of IPH pathways are also discussed. 


Dec 10 2021