Intimate partner homicides in the United States, 2003 – 2013: A comparison of immigrants and nonimmigrant victims

Author(s): 
Sabri, B., Campbell, J.C., Messing, J.T. (2018)
Source: 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1 -23
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Summary: 

This study examined differences in characteristics of killings of native-born and foreign-born (immigrant) residents in the United States. Women were the victims in 77.4% of intimate partner homicides (IPHs), with a greater proportion of women victims of IPHs being foreign-born than U.S.-born. Foreign-born women killed by their partners were more likely than U.S.-born women to be young, married, and killed by a young partner who stabbed, strangled, or suffocated them.

Expanded Abstract: 

Intimate partner homicide (IPH) is a significant public health issue that has negative consequences for families and communities. Evidence is needed to support heterogeneity among groups affected by IPHs. This study examined differences in characteristics of male-perpetrated and female-perpetrated killings of native-born and foreign-born (immigrant) residents in the United States.  Research shows that immigrants are more likely to experience intimate partner violence (IPV) than nonimmigrant women (Bauer, Rodriguez, Quiroga, & Flores-Ortiz, 2000; Erez, Adelman, & Gregory, 2009; Klevens, 2007; Menjivar & Salcido, 2002; Raj & Silverman, 2002). Immigrant survivors of IPV have more difficulty accessing social service and criminal justice resources and report greater perceived risks and barriers to leaving an abusive relationship (Amanor-Boadu et al., 2012; Messing et al., 2015).

This review analyzed 2003-2013 IPH homicide data collected in 19 U.S. states by the National Violence Death Reporting System, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, comparing IPH cases where the victim was U.S.-born versus foreign-born. It examined characteristics associated with male perpetrated female killings and female-perpetrated male killings. Among the total homicides (n = 147,092), foreign-born victims were more likely than U.S.-born victims to be associated with intimate-partner-violence-related deaths. Women were the victims in 77.4% of IPHs, with a greater proportion of women victims of IPHs being foreign-born than U.S.-born. Foreign-born women killed by their partners were more likely than U.S.-born women to be young, married, and killed by a young partner who stabbed, strangled, or suffocated them. IPHs policies, prevention, and intervention efforts need collaborative efforts between victim services, mental health, and the legal system to identify and intervene with populations at risk. Culturally specific prevention and intervention strategies are needed to address risks of IPHs among diverse groups based on nativity and race/ethnicity.

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