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Declining Rate of Intimate Partner Homicide

NCJ Number
Daniel Nagin; Richard Rosenfeld; Laura Dugan
Date Published
January 2000
0 pages
This video presents the National Institute of Justice's "Research in Progress Seminar" that profiles a study of the factors that are influencing "The Declining Rate of Intimate Partner Homicide."
An overview of the research notes its focus on the social forces and policies that may have affected the decline in the intimate partner homicide rate in the United States. The research design is based on the Exposure Reduction Theory. This theory posits that the intimate partner homicide rate is declining because of factors that are reducing the number and duration of intimate relationships, such that fewer people are being exposed to ongoing violent relationships that culminate in one partner killing the other. Thus, the three independent variables selected for measurement for the period of 1976 through 1992 are "domesticity" (the prevalence of people living in intimate relationships); the relative economic status of women; and the prevalence of domestic violence resources, notably shelters for abused women, hotlines, and legal advocacy programs for abused women. The relative economic status of women was selected as a factor that affects the likelihood that a woman will have the economic resources to leave an abusive relationship before it escalates to a homicide. Domestic violence resources are also expected to facilitate a woman's having the support and guidance necessary to leave an abusive relationship before it becomes deadly. Overall, the research data are reported to show that these factors have influenced the decline in intimate partner homicides by enabling the abused parties to reduce their exposure to escalating violence by leaving the abusive relationship. The effects are shown to vary, however, by race, gender, and marital status. Questions and answers conclude the presentation.