Factors associated with intimate partner homicide in Illinois, 2005–2010: Findings from the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Critical elements in intimate partner homicides (IPH) often go undocumented. Previous studies have highlighted precipitating causes, but few have examined the place of injury that led to the victim’s death. We sought to describe IPH cases in Illinois and in particular to examine factors surrounding the location of injury that led to the victim’s death.

METHODS

We analyzed data collected in the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System to assess victim demographics, perpetrator characteristics, the victim/perpetrator relationship, and circumstances surrounding the location of injury that led to the victim’s death.

RESULTS

From 2005 to 2010, 275 cases were identified as IPH. Women comprised 60.4% of victims and men 39.6%. Among perpetrators, 78.5% were identified as male and 21.5% as female. Of the 31 corollary victims, 54.8% were less than 18 years and 58.1% were injured in front of a family member. Females were 1.6 times more likely to have the injury that led to their death occur at their residence, as compared to males (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.9). Cases in which the perpetrator had documented history of abuse were 2.4 times more likely to have the fatal injury occur at the victim’s residence compared to those that did not have previous history (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.2–4.8). IPH cases in which the perpetrator was the current partner of the victim were twice as likely to have the injury leading to the victim’s death occur at the victim’s residence compared to those perpetrators who were not a current partner (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2–3.5).

CONCLUSIONS

Considering the increased risk of IPH occurring at the place of residence for women at the hands of current intimate partners and by perpetrators with a previous history of abuse, prevention efforts may wish to prioritize in-home and relocation intervention strategies.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

Epidemiologic, level IV.

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