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Domestic Violence Homicides

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 46 Issue: 11 Dated: November 1998 Pages: 51-54
V Geberth
Date Published
4 pages
Domestic violence homicides are among the most prevalent interpersonal violence murders committed in the United States and result from the universal dynamics of domestic violence.
The origins of domestic violence are in historical and current social, legal, and cultural norms, including the acceptance of violent behavior by men as the heads of households. Domestic violence occurs in all types of intimate relationships, but it is overwhelmingly a problem of violence perpetrated by men against women. Some of these murders involve third-party relationships. All these can be classified as interpersonal violence-oriented homicide. Domestic violence homicide is the one category of murder that is preventable if early intervention occurs by police, social services, and the criminal justice system. However, the community must have zero tolerance in order for prevention efforts to be successful. Police agencies alone cannot eliminate domestic violence, although the police are usually in the best position to intervene in their roles as first responders to domestic violence incidents. Police need to recognize the link between domestic violence and child abuse. Schools, clergy, neighbors, friends, and co-workers also have a role in education and awareness of the problem. The 13 indicators of the potential for domestic violence homicide include the batterer's sense of ownership of the battered partner, the centrality of the partner to the batterer's life, acute depression in the batterer, repeated intervention by the police, an escalation of risk taking by the batterer, and threats of homicide or suicide. The author wrote the book titled "Practical Homicide Investigation." Photograph, discussion of additional lethality indicators, and summaries of four case histories