Threat of separation often the trigger for murder of collaterals such as children related to intimate partner conflict

Who died? The murder of collaterals related to intimate partner conflict

From Violence Against Women

Over recent years it has seemed far more common to read news headlines about collateral murders associated with intimate partner conflict, particularly a saddening trend of males killing their children and then committing suicide following partner conflict. Using data from the Murder in Britain Study, the authors of this paper focus on collateral murders including children, allies, and new partners. The research focuses on these three types of Intimate Partner Conflict Murders (IPCMs) and compare them to cases in which only the intimate partner was murdered. Qualitative data provide a characterization of the three types of collaterals, and quantitative data are used to compare characteristics of perpetrators. Unlike the other two collateral types, most of the child murders involved previous violence to the victim. In many cases the dynamics of child murder involved notions of sexual jealousy as the perpetrator targeted for violent abuse and eventually killed the child of a previous partner of the woman. The study suggests that for intimate partner murders as well as the collateral murder of allies and new partners, separation or threat of separation was often associated with a dynamic process in which the man “changed the project” from one oftrying to cajole or force his partner to remain/return to him to one directed at revenge, punishment, and annihilation for not doing so. Various disciplinary approaches are reflected in the research design, data collection, findings, and conclusions. The results have important implications for research, policy, and practice.

Abstract

Using data from the Murder in Britain Study, the authors focus on murders that are related to intimate partner conflict but involve the killing of a person other than the intimate partner. Intimate partner collateral murders (IPCM) include children, allies, and new partners. The findings expand the number and types of murder associated with intimate partner conflict, characterize the three main types of collaterals, compare the childhood and adulthood of the perpetrators of intimate partner murder [IPM] (n = 104) and IPCM (n = 62), and reflect similarities and differences. Various disciplinary approaches are reflected in the research design, data collection, findings, and conclusions.

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Article details
Dobash, R., & Dobash, R. (2012). Who Died? The Murder of Collaterals Related to Intimate Partner Conflict Violence Against Women, 18 (6), 662-671 DOI: 10.1177/1077801212453984

     
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