The role of separation in pathways to intimate partner homicide

Laura Doherty1

1Australian Institute Of Criminology

Recent separation has consistently been identified as a risk factor for intimate partner homicide  (IPH). However, understanding of the context surrounding separation and its role in the pathway to intimate partner homicide is currently lacking. This information is crucial for identifying high-risk matters where separation has occurred; the vast majority of men whose relationships end will not go on to kill their partners.

This paper examines in detail the post-separation period for a sample of Australian IPH cases where the victim and offender were separated at time of the lethal incident. The analysis found that in the post-separation context, custodial disputes, financial disputes, frustrated attempts to re-partner (initiated by the offender) and the victim re-partnering were all key factors that may have contributed to the lethal incident. However, more generally, the offender’s loss of control over the victim appeared to have a powerful role in the IPH trajectory.


Dec 10 2021