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Angela Browne, Kirk R. Williams & Donald G. Dutton

In: Studying and Preventing Homicide: Issues and Challenges

Chapter 4: Homicide between Intimate Partners

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Homicide between Intimate Partners
Homicide between intimate partners

Until the 1980s, studies of homicide in the United States did not focus on homicides between intimate partners or on differences in the risks of intimate homicide for women and men. Some studies disaggregated (separated) homicide into various subtypes, such as family, acquaintance, or stranger homicide, but none disaggregated couple homicides by the type of relationship (married vs. nonmarried) and gender of the perpetrator. This practice tended to mask gender and relationship differences as well as trends that differed through time from the larger national trends.

The years since the mid-1970s are especially important for examining trends of lethal violence in marital and dating relationships. Prior to 1974, assaults against wives were considered misdemeanors in most states, even when ...

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