Annotated Bibliography on Femicide

Introduction  

On November 26, 2012, the Vienna Declaration on Femicide was signed by participants at a one-day symposium on femicide convened by the Academic Council on United Nations System (ACUNS). This important symbolic event comes more than 40 years after Diana Russell first used the term in 1976 testifying at the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women in Brussels.

During the past four decades, there has been periodic and important research on femicide; however, in the past decade, there has been a clear increase in grassroots, academic, and government attention. In part, this is due to efforts of those concerned about high femicide rates in some countries/world regions, leading to legislative efforts and initiatives to better respond to femicide. This has also led to use of the term ‘feminicide’ by some to highlight the impunity with which these crimes are often treated in some parts of the world (e.g. Latin America) or when perpetrated against some groups of women (e.g. Indigenous women and girls, poor women).

Increasing attention to femicide has lead to a rise in debates and discussions about how to define or classify femicide; what we currently know about its prevalence and characteristics of those involved; how to document it more accurately; how countries can better prevent femicide, particularly for some groups; what punishments are appropriate; and whether/how states are contributing to the problem with inadequate or non-existent responses.

The research highlighted in an evolving annotated bibliography closely adheres to Russell’s definition of femicide as “the killing of one or more females by one or more males because they are female,” including primarily articles, reports, books and other publications that use the term femicide (or feminicide) explicitly in the title or abstract. While this excludes some important work that arguably captures killings of women by men because they are women, it underscores the importance of using the term to directly name the phenomenon for what it is – femicide – rather than using more gender-neutral terms (e.g. intimate partner, domestic, or family homicide). Given burgeoning literature in the recent decade on these latter phenomena, it also provided parameters that made the initial selection of articles more focused and manageable.

While numerous countries will be represented, some world regions are more active in researching and addressing femicide. What is also clear is that many disciplines are seeking to better understand, document and respond to femicide as shown by the journals in which research has been published, ranging from the expected – sociology, social work, law, criminology – to the less expected – gynaecology and obstetrics, and pediatrics, underscoring the multidisciplinary foci required to adequately understand femicide.

Regardless of world region or discipline, the research will represent key works and recent and innovative approaches to the study of femicide.

A note to readers: This annotated bibliography will be a ‘living’ document that will be added to and updated regularly. In doing so, we will also begin to feature important work that does not use the term ‘femicide/feminicide’, but does still contribute to our knowledge in this field. Therefore, we encourage visitors to come back often and to let us know if there are publications that they feel are relevant and should be included by emailing cfoja@uoguelph.ca.

A note to the authors referenced: Please touch base with us if you feel that we have not highlighted the core focus of your work adequately. We restricted each citation to 250 words or less and have strived to focus on the core content of each article. However, we would be happy to revise to better reflect what your feel are the key learnings from your research if not already done so.

 

Abrahams N., S. Mathews, L.J. Martin, C. Lombard, and R. Jewkes. 2013. Intimate Partner Femicide in South Africa in 1999 and 2009. PLoS Med 10.4: 1–8.

Comparing data between 1999 and 2009, this retrospective study investigates femicide in South Africa in order to identify any changes in light of the newly implemented gender-based violence legislation and national prevention strategy, including the 1998 Domestic Violence Act, the 2000 Firearms Control Act and the 2007 Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act. Femicide cases involving victims aged 14 years and older were included in the analysis and both intimate and non-intimate cases were investigated. The authors located cases by using a sample of 25 mortuaries for the year 1999 and 38 mortuaries for the year 2009. Data on the victims and perpetrators were gathered through mortuary and autopsy reports and police interviews. The results indicate that overall femicide rates in South Africa decreased from 1999 to 2009, however, there was no significant reduction in the rates of intimate partner femicide or suspected rape homicide. Results also show a decrease from 1999 to 2009 in femicides committed using a firearm, which may point to the effectiveness of the amendments to firearms control. An improvement in odds of conviction between the ten years is not evident. Further, the conviction rate for non-intimate femicide was significantly lower in 2009 than in 1999. Lack of improvement in investigations, an unawareness of the gendered contexts and motivations of these killings, and implementation of policies and programs that have had little effect in preventing these deaths may be potential reasons for these results.

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Abrahams N., S. Mathews, L.J. Martin, C. Lombard, and R. Jewkes. 2013. Intimate Partner Femicide in South Africa in 1999 and 2009. PLoS Med 10.4: 1–8.

Comparing data between 1999 and 2009, this retrospective study investigates femicide in South Africa in order to identify any changes in light of the newly implemented gender-based violence legislation and national prevention strategy, including the 1998 Domestic Violence Act, the 2000 Firearms Control Act and the 2007 Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act. Femicide cases involving victims aged 14 years and older were included in the analysis and both intimate and non-intimate cases were investigated. The authors located cases by using a sample of 25 mortuaries for the year 1999 and 38 mortuaries for the year 2009. Data on the victims and perpetrators were gathered through mortuary and autopsy reports and police interviews. The results indicate that overall femicide rates in South Africa decreased from 1999 to 2009, however, there was no significant reduction in the rates of intimate partner femicide or suspected rape homicide. Results also show a decrease from 1999 to 2009 in femicides committed using a firearm, which may point to the effectiveness of the amendments to firearms control. An improvement in odds of conviction between the ten years is not evident. Further, the conviction rate for non-intimate femicide was significantly lower in 2009 than in 1999. Lack of improvement in investigations, an unawareness of the gendered contexts and motivations of these killings, and implementation of policies and programs that have had little effect in preventing these deaths may be potential reasons for these results.

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Abrahams, N., S. Mathews, R. Jewkes, L. Martin, and C. Lombard. 2012. Intimate femicide in South Africa: Comparing two studies 10 years apart. Injury Prevention 18.(Suppl 1): A43-A44.

This paper explores intimate femicide in South Africa by comparing the results of two national female homicide studies dated 10 years apart. The methodology was taken from the first study, completed in 1999, and repeated for the 2009 study. The retrospective design used a proportionate random sample of 38 medico-legal laboratories, which identified all female homicide deaths in 2009 for women over 13 years of age.  Data were drawn from multiple sources including mortuary files, autopsy reports, and police data. The results show a 47.8% lower rate of female homicides in 2009 as compared to in 1999. Specifically, the intimate femicide rates decreased by 36.4% and the non-intimate femicide rates decreased by 49.5%. An increase in rapes among non-intimate femicides and a general decrease in gun murders between 1999 and 2009 is seen. Conviction rates decreased among non-intimate femicides, yet remained stable for intimate femicides. These results generally illustrate a declining homicide rate in South Africa. Gender-based homicides, however, appear to be more impervious to change, as shown with the lesser reduction in rate of intimate femicide, and the increase in rape homicides. These findings suggest that intimate partner violence intervention programmes have not seen tremendous success and are areas that warrant future investigation and action.

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Agnew, H.R. 2015. Reframing ‘femicide’: Making room for the balloon effect of drug war violence in studying female homicides in Mexico and Central America. Territory, Politics, Governance 3.4: 428-445.

This paper examines female homicide in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico since 1993, proposing an alternate explanation for the increase in violence against women: the “balloon effect”. The balloon effect – the theory that increased law enforcement on drugs in one area will shift drug operations into other areas – is said to have caused the upsurge in Mexican drug cartel power in Juárez between the mid-1980s and early 1990s. The balloon effect connects the violence and disregard of women to changing patterns of the drug trade, and is said to be more effective than analyses that focus on the impacts of free trade and maquiladora labour on femicide. The lack of femicide between 1964 and 1993 negates explanations that cite changes in women’s social, labour, and political practices as causing femicide. Increased femicide makes sense, however, when compared to the U.S. Coast Guard’s action against the Caribbean cocaine route, which pushed the trade to Mexico and Central America. Indeed, the paper confirms similar patterns which link the balloon effect and murders in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The author concludes by calling into question femicide altogether. Female homicides in raw numbers in Juárez may misconstrue the issue and give a false sense of a crisis. Male homicides have increased with the female homicides, and commonly used body count data removes the ability to recognize whether or not a gendered motivation was present. The author argues that it is the motive and context, rather than the number of victims, which is integral to consider.

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Aujla, W. and Gill, A. K. 2014. Conceptualizing 'honour' killings in Canada: An extreme form of domestic violence? International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, Vol 9, 1. 153–166.

This paper investigates honour killings in Canada, arguing that these murders are a form of domestic violence and therefore should not be treated as an ‘exoticized,’ separate issue. Honour killings involve punishing women who bring shame on their family in order to restore the family’s honour and community standing. The authors use the previous literature and case studies to examine this topic. The paper demonstrates that the term “honour killing” fails to address the wider patriarchal structure that contributes to violence against women internationally. Cases that have occurred in the West illustrate the failure of the police and other agencies to protect at risk women from these violent incidents. The study argues that even the name “honour killing” fuels stereotypes regarding certain ethnic communities and silences victims through the perception of these killings as honourable. The paper asserts that the gendered nature of honour killings remains stable, regardless of the context. When focusing on the cultural and/or religious nature of these killings, the domestic violence categorization and the power structures that perpetuate the violence are ignored. The paper states that there it is unnecessary to make honour killings a separate criminal offence. Future interventions must focus on the trans-cultural patriarchal structures underlying these crimes, while simultaneously addressing the context-specific challenges that women may be facing.

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Ayala Quintanilla, B.P., A. Taft, S. McDonald, and W. Pollock. 2016. An examination of femicides in Peru between 2009 and 2014. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 134.3: 342-343.

This study examines femicide in Peru between 2009 and 2014. By analyzing data drawn from the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, the authors explore the characteristics surrounding femicide cases through descriptive research. Results of the study indicate that there has been a steady decline in the number of femicides in Peru during the specified time period. Intimate partners were the perpetrators in the majority of femicide cases. Victims were typically between 18 to 45 years of age and were mothers. The most common antecedents of these crimes were jealousy and the termination of a relationship. The majority of victims had not reported any incidence of violence prior to the lethal act, and just over half of the perpetrators were arrested following the incident. The femicides were most often committed in urban areas and in the victim’s home. Asphyxiation was the most prevalent act of violence used in the killings. The results of this research are different from a number of studies conducted in other countries. The femicide rate in Peru (0.74 victims per 100 000 women) is already very low and since femicide rates are slowly declining, it is important to examine the femicide characteristics in order to identify variables that may be associated with this phenomenon. This information may be helpful in formulating preventive efforts in Peru and internationally.

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Bandelli, D., and G. Porcelli. 2016. ‘Femminicidio’ in Italy: A critique of feminist gender discourse and constructivist reading of the human identity. Current Sociology 64.7: 1071-1089.

Drawing on Foucault’s theory of biopolitics and Habermas’ theory of the public sphere, this paper examines the gender and cultural discourse of femicide in Italy. The authors outline two assumptions underlying gender violence and femicide through a feminist framework. First, gender violence assumes that men’s violence against women is rooted in patriarchal culture and second, that there is a connection between violence against women and representations of women. The authors argue that the term ‘femminicidio’ is problematic because it fails to recognize other theories and causes of violence. Indeed, femminicidio suggests that the killing of women is a problem related to the culture of patriarchy thereby advocating for a macro-level solution. The result of this assumption is that other theories and individual characteristics that may be associated with femicide are silenced.  The authors contend that femminicidio is a construction of the problem by specific interests groups and is not the result of a public discussion in Italy. Therefore, the authors recommend that academics continue to assess the reliability of gender violence theory. They also caution the public use of the term femicide as it is laden with assumptions and cannot simply be defined as the killing of a woman.

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Bellino, M. 2009-2010. Femicide and silence in “postwar” Guatemala. Women’s Policy Journal of Harvard 7: 5-9.

This paper provides an overview of feminicide and the impunity that persists in postwar Guatemala. The author draws on secondary sources and communication with Jorge and Claudina Velásquez, the parents of feminicide victim Claudina Isabel. Claudina Isabel was raped and murdered on August 13th, 2005 at age 19 in Guatemala City. Her father has since worked to advocate and pursue justice for crimes of feminicide. Feminicide is described as an extreme misogynistic hate crime meant to strike fear and dehumanize women. The article explains that these crimes are supported by widespread state impunity. The term “feminicide” is used instead of “femicide” because of its ability to construct these murders as not only perpetrated by the individual male offenders, but also by state and judicial structures that normalize and give permission for this violence. Investigations of feminicide cases are said to be inefficient, and the chance of a trial or a conviction is highly unlikely. Official explanations of feminicide often use petty crime and gang violence as a convenient scapegoat, and ignore Guatemala’s culture of machismo and gender inequality, rooted in social and political structures. Even with the advent of Decree 22-2008, the Law Against Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women, little has changed. In fact, in 2009 there was a 10 percent increase in female murders. With a lack of political will, state action, and awareness, Jorge and others remain skeptical that justice will be achieved in the near future.

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Boesten, J. 2012. The state and violence against women in Peru: Intersecting inequalities and patriarchal rule. Social Politics 19.3: 361-382.

This article builds on previous research examining violence against women in times of war and peace. Instead of analyzing the role that the Peruvian government plays in addressing this issue, this study takes on a perspective that explores the state’s part in perpetuating violence against women. A qualitative research design is used to conduct this study. The author interviewed a wide range of participants from different service sectors in order to gain a better understanding of the way these services work together and relate to the broader policy frameworks in Peru. Further, nine women who have gone through the system as victims of violence are interviewed. The outcomes of this study suggest that the legal and policy framework in Peru focuses more on the male-headed family unit than addressing issues relating to the protection and security of women. An examination of the interviews elicited by personnel from different sectors suggests that there is a lack of clear guidance on gender equality which reflects the longstanding patriarchal values that are upheld at the level of policy and legislation. The study uniquely highlights the way institutions can reinforce a cycle of domestic and political violence against women which ultimately supports a system shaped by patriarchal notions. 

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Burfoot, A. and S. Lord. 2006. Killing Women: The Visual Culture of Gender and Violence. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

This book is a collection of chapters that focus on the visual representation of gender and violence through art, film, and media. The publication investigates all aspects of women and killing, including women as victims and as perpetrators of violence. The editors of this book consider the relationship between violence against women and its portrayal in visual and audio sources. The chapters are broadly organized into three sections: past and present characterizations of women; media representations through mediums such as film and artwork; and the representations of women in film within different countries, periods, and genres. Included in the book are critical reflections on the representation of women in the Montreal Massacre’s tenth anniversary memorial events, the lack of feminist input on the media representation of Karla Homolka, and documentary representations of missing women in Mexico. The book also delves into the ethics of representation and how representation can cultivate further violence. Drawing connections between the representation of women through various mediums, time-periods, and geographic locations, this book brings a more nuanced understanding of how women are depicted as both victims and perpetrators of crime.

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Campbell, J.C., D. Webster, J. Koziol-McLain, C. Block, D. Campbell, M.A. Curry, F. Gary, N. Glass, J. McFarlane, C. Sachs, P. Sharps, Y. Ulrich, S.A. Wilt, J. Manganello, J. Schollenberger, V. Frye, and K. Laughon. 2003. Risk factors for femicide in abus

This study examines the risk of femicide for women in abusive relationships, with the aim of protecting women from this form of lethal violence. The study draws on an 11-city case-control design. The study used data obtained through interviews of proxies of 220 intimate partner femicide victims, found through police or medical examiner records. Additionally, this investigation, at the time of publication, was one of the limited number of research studies to use a control population – 343 abused women. Using multivariate analyses, the study finds that risk factors of intimate partner femicide include perpetrator’s access to a firearm, previous threat with a weapon, perpetrator’s stepchild being in the residence, and relationship termination, especially when the abusive partner exhibits controlling behaviours. Never sharing a residence and prior arrest for domestic violence are two variables seen to mitigate the risk of intimate partner femicide. The incident-level investigation reveals that the victim leaving the perpetrator for another partner and the perpetrator’s use of a firearm in the most severe abusive attack are significant. Further, stalking, strangulation, non-consensual sex, violence during pregnancy, escalating physical violence, perpetrator suicidality, victim’s perceived danger, and child abuse are found to be associated with intimate partner femicide. The study affirms that pinpointing risk factors can be instrumental in crafting prevention efforts.

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Campbell, J.C., D.W. Webster, ad N. Glass. 2009. The Danger Assessment: Validation of a lethality risk assessment instrument for intimate partner femicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 24.4: 653-674.

In this study, the Danger Assessment (DA) – a homicide risk assessment instrument used in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) – is examined in an attempt to report on its development and predictive abilities following its relatively new revisions. The data were extracted from an 11-city case-control study on intimate partner femicide. Multivariate analysis is used to test the strength of the DA risk factors on 310 intimate partner femicide cases compared with a control group consisting of 324 abused women from the cities where the femicides occurred. Additional data from an independent sample of 194 victims of attempted femicide are used to test the DA’s predictive validity. The results demonstrate that the revised DA can accurately discern the majority of abused women who face a heightened risk of femicide or attempted femicide. Further, the DA is capable of pinpointing most of the IPV cases at the lowest risk of femicide or attempted femicide. The DA is capable of providing useful information for abuse victims and practitioners within the varying social, legal, and health care systems. Importantly, the authors note that the use of the any risk assessment method should be the initial step and not the full process of safety planning.

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Campbell, J.C., N. Glass, P.W. Sharps, K., Laughon, N. Yragui, and M.A. Sutherland. 2009. Research on intimate partner violence and femicide, attempted femicide, and pregnancy-associated femicide. Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly 2.2: 115-139.

This article provides a comprehensive review of risk factors for intimate partner femicide and attempted femicide. A wide range of previous literature on the topic is analyzed for the purpose of this research. The article generally finds that these violent incidents are huge threats to the wellbeing and safety of women. Abuse is singled out as a major predictor of intimate partner femicide. The article additionally identifies a number of other risk factors: relationship estrangement; perpetrator unemployment, gun ownership, controlling nature, or avoiding arrest for previous domestic violence; forced sexual activity; threats; abuse during pregnancy; strangulation; and a stepchild living in the home. Women having a separate residence is found to be a protective factor against intimate partner femicide. The article demonstrates the importance of the Danger Assessment as a helpful tool for safety planning and risk assessment. A number of suggestions for future research, practice, and policy are presented. More research is needed on pregnancy-associated femicide, the effectiveness of certain femicide interventions, and understudied groups (i.e., same-sex intimate partners, and different racial and ethnic groups). Community resources and awareness, along with thorough training of service providers is encouraged. Furthermore, policies that support community strategies and include appropriate health care, justice, education, family, and parenting interventions are recommended.

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Carey Jr., D., and M.G. Torres. 2010. Precursors to femicide: Guatemalan women in a vortex of violence. Latin America Research Review 45.3: 142-164.

This article looks at the naturalization of gender-based violence in Guatemala that has occurred over the course of the twentieth century. In order to understand the current rates of femicide in Guatemala and the ways that gender-based violence is normalized, the authors rely on a historical analysis. The focal argument of the article is that femicide in Guatemala is rooted in the authorities’ failure to punish forms of violence against women that began as early as the 1900s. As a result of impunity, violence against women became state sanctioned and socially accepted. This article examines the historical and social atmosphere in Guatemala between the early 1900s and present day. The article relies on secondary sources to conduct the analysis. The authors investigate thematic issues present in Guatemala during the time periods of 1898-1944 and 1978-1984, such as violence as a social relationship, violated and vulnerable women, the gendered privileges of violence, women and sensational violence, and rape and overkill. The perception of women as less than human ultimately led to the use of women as tools of war during the Guatemalan civil war, and as a result continues in present-day Guatemala. The authors conclude by asserting that a historical analysis of the social and political atmosphere in Guatemala offers a more complete and holistic picture of gender-based violence than gathered statistics.

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Carrigan, M. Femicide legislation: Lessons from Latin America. (MA Thesis, University of Guelph, 2016), 1-220.

This thesis presents the first regional assessment of legislation and its effects on femicide rates in Latin America. A multi-stage mixed method analysis is used in an attempt to answer how legislation addresses femicide, and whether these approaches affect rates of femicide in the region. The study begins with a qualitative analysis of thirteen legislation summaries. This analysis demonstrates that constructions of femicide are shaped by country and regional contexts and vary over time. Responses, however, do not significantly vary as shown with similar sentencing regardless of the differing construction. The study then turns to a quantitative analysis on a sample of 24 Latin American countries in order to explore how effective femicide legislation is on reducing female homicide rates. Other country-level variables which could impact femicide or femicide legislation are also examined at this point. The study finds no significant differences in female homicide rates across the countries in Latin America with or without femicide legislation. For all but one of the countries, enacting femicide legislation did not affect the rate of femicide or related variables. Findings did indicate, however, that multiple country-level variables – including male homicide rates, employment, female seats in parliament, and female judges – may impact femicide rates and femicide legislation. The findings of this study generally demonstrate that constructions of femicide do not improve performance because legislation in its current state is unsuccessful in reducing the rate of femicide and protecting women from this form of lethal violence.

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Cetin, I. 2015. Defining recent femicide in modern Turkey: Revolt killing. Journal of International Women’s Studies 16.2: 346-360.

This paper explores the rising number of Turkish femicide cases by examining connections to the changing status of women, leading to the development of the term “revolt killings” as a way to conceptualize these murders. The basis of a revolt killing is the homicide of a woman that results from her attempt to leave a man. This research begins with an overview of frequently used terms to describe the murder of women in order to understand the meaning of these terms within Turkish society. Both “honour killings” and “crimes of passion” are similar in their underlying motives of jealousy and anger from the perceived infidelity of a woman. The study uses data from news stories of women killed in September 2013 and a sample of 18 women are identified for analysis. The author argues that certain femicides should be classified as revolt killings to distinguish them from femicides with differing characteristics. Revolt killings reflect a tension between traditional and modern norms, where a woman defies her role under the traditional, patriarchal system. The changing status of women reflects rapid urbanization and increased participation leading to gains in independence. Despite measures intended to prevent violence against women, femicide continues, pointing to the structural nature of the problem. The author recommends future work on establishing reforms and policies with the goal of restructuring society and accepting the new independence and status of women.

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Corradi, C., and H., Stöckl. 2014. Intimate partner homicide in 10 European countries: Statistical data and policy development in a cross-national perspective. European Journal of Criminology 11.5: 601-618.

This study uses recent national statistics in 10 European countries – Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom – in order to provide a cross-national perspective on intimate partner homicide and policy development. Policy developments and the role of instrumental policy-making actors are discussed for each country. The countries are classified into three main headings based on the timing of government action within the region: (1) early birds (government action since the mid-1970s to early 1980s); (2) intermediate (government action since the late 1980s to the early 1990s); and (3) newcomers (government action developing since the mid-1990s). Results affirm that despite strong advances in policy development, a high prevalence of intimate partner homicide, especially for women, still remains. A direct link between the prevalence of intimate partner female homicide and the development of intimate partner violence policies is not found. A link is, however, found between policy development and the availability of routine statistics on intimate partner homicide. All of the early-bird countries, for example, had police and justice system routine data collection and reporting in place for intimate partner violence cases. An enduring record of both women’s activism and public action in addressing intimate partner violence is found to act as a catalyst for policy change, specifically with institutional commitments to data collection on intimate partner homicides. Improvement is said to be needed in regards to the reliability and comparability of statistical data on intimate partner homicide across all 10 countries examined.

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Dawson, M. 2003. The cost of ‘lost’ intimacy: The effect of relationship state on criminal justice decision making. The British Journal of Criminology 43.4: 689-709.

This study examines how criminal justice outcomes vary according to the relational distance between defendants and victims of femicide. To do so, 144 cases of intimate femicide from Toronto, Ontario between 1974 and 1976 that ended in a conviction are analyzed. The study differentiates ‘separation’ killings from ‘intact’ killings. Separation killings involve estranged partners or a female victim in the process of terminating the relationship, whereas intact killings involve offenders who murder current intimate partners. The study draws on socio-legal and feminist theory which proposes that legal outcomes vary inversely with relational distance. The author hypothesizes that separation killings will result in harsher punishments and legal sanctions in comparison to intact killings. The study investigates the effects of the independent variable – relationship state – on two dependent variables – severity of conviction and sentence length – while controlling for other variables. Results of the study confirm the original hypothesis and demonstrate that offenders who kill estranged partners are subject to more severe punishment than those who kill current partners. The author asserts that future research is needed in order to validate proposed explanations as to why offenders with intact relationships with their victims at the time of the killing experience less harsh punishment within the justice system.

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Dawson, M. 2005. Intimate femicide followed by suicide: Examining the role of premeditation. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 35.1: 76-90.

This study investigates premeditation in intimate femicide-suicide versus femicide-only cases. Data included 703 intimate femicide cases from Ontario, Canada between 1974 and 1994. Two independent variables are examined: evidence of premeditation and motivation. A variety of control variables are also included: relationship status, relationship state, and offender, victim, and crime characteristics. Due to the dichotomous nature of both dependent variables, the analytic procedure chosen was a logistic regression. Using multivariate patterns to simultaneously control for all variables included, the results of this study demonstrate that premeditation is more likely to occur in femicide-suicide cases, but the degree of premeditation varies depending on the motive of the offender. Specifically, the study finds that offenders motivated by poor health exhibit the highest degree of premeditation. Interaction effects between age, motivation, and evidence of premeditation are tested for. These interactions are not found to be significant within this study. The author suggests that identifying risk factors and researching the premeditation involved with these cases could have important implications for future prevention measures. Further research on premeditation and the unique characteristics of femicide in comparison to other forms of homicide is said to be needed in order to solidify results and understand this topic more.

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Dawson, M. 2015. Punishing femicide: Criminal justice responses to the killing of women over four decades. Current Sociology 64.7: 996-1016.

This study investigates femicide with a key focus on the criminal justice outcomes and responses to these killings within the Canadian context. The study analyzes criminal justice responses by using data on the total population of homicides and a subset of femicide-only cases in Ontario over a 40-year period. The study analyses three independent variables - victim gender, victim-defendant relationship, and time period - and their effect on four dependent variables - initial charge, likelihood of conviction, conviction severity, and sentence - while controlling for a number of other variables. The associations among the variables are measured using a logistic regression and ordinary least squares regression. Results of the study demonstrate that, in comparison to cases with male victims, defendants in femicide cases more often receive a charge of first-degree murder, a conviction in general, a murder conviction, and longer sentences, thus supporting the idea of a ‘female victim effect’ in Canada. Results also indicate that femicide subtypes affect court outcomes: closer relationships such as intimate and familial femicide lead to less severe punishments, demonstrating an ‘intimacy discount.’ Finally, examining longitudinal patterns the results show that the changing social and legal environment within Canada has resulted in increasingly punitive sanctions for femicide over the 40-year time frame. Future research is needed to more closely review and identify gender-based indicators of femicide, examine the effects of victim and offender characteristics on risk factors and punishment outcomes, and investigate how stereotypes affect court outcomes.

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Dawson, M., and R. Gartner. 1998. Differences in the characteristics of intimate femicides: The role of relationship state and relationship status. Homicide Studies 2.4: 378-399.

This study investigates intimate femicide in Ontario, Canada, drawing on 703 femicide cases between 1974 and 1994 in an attempt to discover how relationship dynamics shape the characteristics of these lethal incidents. The authors note that intimate relationships are not all identical, and cite prior research which has demonstrated that different relationships create differential risks. The publication describes two concepts important to intimate relationships: relationship state and relationship status. Relationship state refers to whether the relationship was intact at the time of the killing, whereas relationship status focuses on the type of relationship: married, common-law, or dating. The study analyzes victim, offender, and incident characteristics in relation to the variables of relationship state and status in order to measure their effects. A logistic regression analysis for the relationship state variable and a multivariate analysis for the relationship status variable are performed. The results demonstrate that by differentiating between relationships and their level of intimacy, there is evidence that characteristics of victims and offenders, and the circumstances of the crime differ. The authors suggest further research that incorporates more information on the relationship between femicide victims and offenders, such as both the length of the relationship and the length of estrangement.

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Dayan, H. Assaultive femicide and the American felony-murder rule. 2016. Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 21.1: 1-41.

This article analyzes the American felony-murder rule and its application in cases involving a particular sub-type of femicide: assaultive femicide. Assaultive femicides are cases where women are battered to death. Applied in most U.S. jurisdictions, the felony-murder rule characterizes an unintentional killing as murder on the basis of the perpetrator committing or attempting to commit a felony at the time of the incident. This means that culpability can be determined by the intent to commit the underlying felony leading to the death. The paper explains, however, that the doctrine has a sub-doctrine – the principle of merger – which excludes certain felonies from the doctrine and creates problems when attempting to seek justice in assaultive femicide cases. The principle of merger has been extended to include some offenses, such as assault. The extension of this principle through landmark cases identified in the paper means that assaultive femicide is likely to be excluded from the felony-murder rule. This extension creates an opportunity for perpetrators to be exempted from their murder charges. The article proposes statutory amendments to Sections 210.2(b) and 210.6 of the U.S. Model Penal Code to prevent this problem. Specifically, the article supports an amendment which adds felonious assault to the predicate felonies. This will thus prevent application of the merger limitation to assaultive femicides and ensure that assaultive femicide perpetrators receive appropriate punishment for their crimes.

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Dekel, B., and M. Andipatin. 2016. Abused women’s understandings of intimate partner violence and the link to intimate femicide. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 17.1: 1-30.

This paper examines experiences of survivors of intimate partner violence, their constructions of the abuse they went through, and their level of intimate femicide risk. This qualitative study draws on the feminist poststructuralist perspective. Open-ended interviews were conducted with seven South African women, aged 23 to 50 years, with diverse histories of intimate partner violence. Data were analyzed using discourse analysis. The results indicate a number of common patterns and themes. The women frequently told stories embedded in traditional gendered discourses and patriarchal family ideals. Their stories also highlight their internalization of hegemonic ideas about femininity and wanting to be the “good wife.” Some of the women took active roles in resisting these traditional constructions and seeking help from law enforcement. Though this offered a position of empowerment, often the responses from law enforcement simply caused hopelessness and a loss of trust in the system. Women frequently explained having an internal struggle between wanting to uphold their traditional religious beliefs and wanting to leave their abusive home. The women identified themes of romance, love, and possessiveness. Generally, the findings reveal that women resisted thinking about intimate femicide and instead drew on a number of different discourses and forces to justify them staying in their abusive relationships. These findings demonstrate the need to educate women on intimate femicide, as many abused women do not understand or recognize their risks.

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Dixon, L., C. Hamilton-Giachritsis, and K. Browne. 2008. Classifying partner femicide. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 23.1: 74-93.

This article examines the characteristics and contexts surrounding lethal violence by male perpetrators in England. Using the Holtzworth-Monroe and Stuart (1994) typology as a guide, the authors construct a classification system for men who have killed their partners. The sample included ninety men from two prison populations and data on offense and offender characteristics were identified to assess perpetrator’s criminality and psychopathy. Using a content analysis, twenty variables were extracted from institutional records. Based on these variables, the men were placed in one of three subgroups that depicted different levels of psychology and criminogenic behavior: namely violent towards family only (FO), generally violent/antisocial (GVA), or dysphoric/borderline (DB). The study finds that in 80 percent of the cases, offenders fit into one of the three Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994) typologies. Additionally, offenders of femicide are more likely to belong to one of two groups: the GVA group which is characterized by high criminality and low psychopathy or the DB group which is characterized by high criminality and high psychopathy. The authors stress, however, that the use of typologies in criminological research should be treated with caution as the nature and context surrounding lethal violence perpetrated by male offenders are likely to penetrate through different typologies and transcend across time.

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Dobash, R.E., R.P. Dobash, K. Cavanagh, and J. Medina-Ariza. 2007. Lethal and nonlethal violence against an intimate female partner: Comparing male murderers to nonlethal abusers. Violence Against Women 13.4: 329-353.

This study compares risk factors and characteristics of men’s lethal and nonlethal violence against female intimate partners. The comparisons are based on data from two distinct studies: one including a sample of 122 men convicted of nonlethal violence against a female partner, and the other including 106 men convicted of intimate femicide. The comparisons focus on a number of childhood, adulthood, relationship, and violent event factors. Men who kill are found to have relatively more “conventional” childhoods – that is, they are more likely to have grown up with homemaker mothers and non-abusive fathers with skilled or white-collar jobs. Men who kill are also typically more conventional with respect to education, employment, and their criminal careers. Those who kill are more often possessive, jealous, and separated from their partner at the time of the violent event. They are also more likely to have been violent to a previous intimate partner, to have sexually assaulted and strangled the victim, and to have used a weapon during the attack. Men who kill are less likely, however, to be drunk during the event and to have previously been violent towards their victim. Nonresidential, serious dating, or engaged relationships are more commonly found within the lethal group, suggesting that less relationship commitment may combine with greater conflict and fewer external supports to increase victim vulnerability. These differences contribute to the area of risk assessment and negate the assumption that there is a straightforward progression from nonlethal to lethal violence.

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Doğan, R. 2016. The dynamics of honor killings and the perpetrators’ experiences. Homicide Studies 20.1: 53-79.

This study explores the characteristics of honor killings in Turkey using data from in-depth interviews with men incarcerated for perpetrating this form of violence. The study suggests that honor killings cannot be separated from their underlying cultural roots. Data collected from court and prison files are used in concert with the information collected from the interviews. The prisons where the participants were drawn from spread across 37 different cities and 11 different towns, allowing a diverse sample to be collected. The findings are based on 34 incidents, with 34 male perpetrators, and 36 victims. The semi-structured interview included questions related to the individual, the offense, and honor. When explaining the crimes, the perpetrators frequently described the killings as inevitable and the only option given the importance placed on honor by their culture. Many of the accounts even included the concept of necessity, for example stating “I had no choice.” The author asserts that culture does not fully determine action, but rather predisposes individuals to certain actions depending on one’s association with the belief that violence is a suitable exchange for honor. Generally, this study and the thoughts and opinions expressed by the participants highlight the cultural dimensions of these killings, which must be considered in order to inform appropriate prevention measures.

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Echeburúa, E., J. Fernández-Montalvo, P. de Corral, and J. López-Goñi. 2009. Assessing risk markers in intimate partner femicide and severe violence: A new assessment instrument. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 24.6: 925-939.

This article seeks to identify characteristics of severe intimate partner violence against women and predict risk for lethal or severe violence using a newly designed assessment instrument. The sample consisted of 1,081 male batterers broken down into two groups: 269 severe cases of violence and a control group of 812 less severe cases. The sample comprised individuals with charges in the Basque Country, Spain between October 2005 and August 2006. Police assigned the perpetrators to the two groups through knowledge obtained from interviews and crime scene characteristics. At the completion of the assessment questionnaires, the study performed comparative analyses to evaluate the ability of each item in differentiating between the groups. The assessment tool started with 58 items, but was refined based on the research findings. The final product was a tool with 20 items, selected because of their predictive abilities. Results indicate higher rates of immigration for both perpetrators and victims of the severe violence group. Certain items on the scale show higher discriminative capacity: clear intent to cause severe injury, threats with dangerous objects, intense jealousy or controlling behaviours, justification of the violence, and victim’s recent perception of danger. Psychometric properties of reliability and validity were satisfactory, lending to the effectiveness of the assessment instrument. The results of this study demonstrate that this assessment instrument may be an important tool for criminal justice professionals in safety planning procedures.

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Ertürk, Y., and B. Purkayastha. 2012. Linking research, policy and action: A look at the work of the special rapporteur on violence against women. Current Sociology 60.2: 142-160.

This paper examines the connections of paradigm (research), praxis (advocacy), and policy (decision-making) in the international agenda on women’s rights. Special attention is given to the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women throughout the paper. A particular challenge found in linking paradigm, praxis, and policy is the difficulty in countering dominant, persisting views and explanations of violence against women. The article emphasizes that violence against women does not merely concern injured individual women, but rather systematic abuse and historically rooted patriarchal violence as well. The article argues that the prevention of gender-based violence is dependent on a holistic approach. The gap between human rights principles and the lived realities of women must be bridged. The paper advocates for feminist scholars and activists to come together to develop analytical and practical tools that can aid in combatting the violence. By using these tools, evidence of issues facing women in society can be brought forth to policy-makers. Generally, the support of women’s empowerment is needed in concert with having violence located within a context of inequality. Without this, it is affirmed that the promises and rights outlined in international documents and instruments will remain useless and inaccessible for many women around the world.

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Fernández, A.M. 2012. Gender violence: femicides in Argentina. Interdisciplinary Journal of Family Studies 17.2: 42-48.

This article presents research on femicide in Argentina from 2008 and 2009. Using a mixed method approach, the study draws on statistics from the National Health Ministry to examine women that have died from external causes in Argentina, including cases classified as homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths.  Findings indicate statistical inconsistencies in suicide records reported by the Ministry, which suggests that femicide cases are likely being concealed in Argentina.  In some provinces, the suicide rate greatly exceeded the national average and it was in these same provinces that the methods of female suicides differed from international patterns. Specifically, though women most often commit suicide through poisoning, overdosing, or jumping to their deaths, provinces with high rates of female suicides reported that most of these suicides were committed by unconventional methods (i.e. hanging, strangulation, self-suffocation, or firearm injury). This study illustrates the amount of control the state has in both identifying and neglecting societal problems and the influence of the patriarchy on criminal investigations in Argentina. By failing to protect women and punish perpetrators of femicide, the state is contributing to the increase in these killings across the country. These findings reveal the importance of conducting original research in order to divulge statistical obscurities reported by influential organizations.

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Fregoso, R. and C. Bejarano. 2010. Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Américas. Duke University Press.

This book examines the problem of feminicide in Latin America, including the gravity of its incidence and the troubling lack of response. Thousands of women have become victims of feminicide in Mexico and a similar number have simply disappeared. Compiling works written by victims, feminists, academics, and human rights activists, the purpose of this book is to create a foundation of knowledge on feminicide. According to the editors, feminicide or femicide, as it is also commonly known, is a gross injustice, a demonstration of gender inequality, and a human rights violation. The editors argue for the term feminicide over femicide because of its ability to describe the political, economic, and social structures that perpetuate violence against women. Specific social, political, and economic circumstances of feminicide are described, such as feminicide within the neo-liberal context and in post-authoritarian regimes. Many of the articles analyze Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, a U.S.-Mexico border town where an increase in maquiladora or factory work has arguably contributed to an alarming increase in the number of women missing and killed. Less familiar examples of feminicide in Latin America are also examined, such as the occurrence of feminicide in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina. The states’ lack of response to feminicide in Latin America and even their direct involvement in the killings and disappearances of women are explored.

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Gartner, R., M. Dawson, and M. Crawford. 1998. Woman killing: Intimate femicide in Ontario, 1974-1994. Resources for Feminist Research 26.3-4: 151-173.

This study overviews cases of women killed by their intimate partners in Ontario between 1974 and 1994. The paper describes and analyzes the findings of two previous intimate femicide studies. The data consisted of 705 cases of homicide where the offender had been identified as the current or past intimate partner of the victim at the time of her death. The study discovers that intimate partners were the offenders in the majority of femicide cases in Ontario during this time period. Certain risk factors for intimate femicide are identified: partner separation, common-law relationships, and being Aboriginal. The male perpetrators were more likely to be unemployed and to have histories of violence. The findings indicate that intimate femicides are much more likely than killings of men by female intimate partners to involve sexual violence, be provoked by partner estrangement, be followed by the offender’s suicide, and involve multiple victims, typically children. The study additionally draws on research on over 7,000 homicides from a separate project to facilitate further discussion on the gendered nature of intimate femicide. Between 1974 and 1994 in Ontario, 98% of all women killed were killed by a male perpetrator and approximately 75% of all spousal killing victims were female. The study concludes that women killing and intimate femicide are gendered acts that reflect the power imbalance between men and women and the devaluation of females in society. Intimate femicides are said to follow distinct patterns that lend to their predictability, and thus open avenues for prevention.

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Gill, A.K., C. Strange, and K. Roberts. 2014 (Eds). ‘Honour’ Killing & Violence: Theory, Policy and Practice. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

This book includes a collection of works that examine the manifestations and incidences of violence against women and children in the name of ‘honour’. The purpose of the book is to encourage a multidisciplinary approach to the study of honour killings, including factors that increase the likelihood of such killings and auspicious prevention initiatives. The book comprises two sections: (1) theoretical frameworks; and (2) practices of honour killings and gender-based violence. The first segment offers conceptual foundations for creating a better understanding of how honour killings occur. Authors from various disciplines, including law, criminology and psychology, analyse the cultural practices that allow such violence to exist. The book demonstrates the difficulties of language and the subjectivity of the term ‘honour’, as its meaning varies across families and cultures. The authors argue that we need to redefine honour killings to situate this form of violence in the category of gender-based killings. Through carefully selected case studies, other chapters discuss policies that have addressed violence in the name of honour and those that allow this violence to continue. For example, the process of ‘othering’, or creating distinctions to differentiate between groups, is found in Scandinavian policies regarding honour killings. In addition to political representations, the role of the media in representations of honour killings is also discussed. To end killings in the name of so-called honour, this book suggests that we need to change societal attitudes about honour killings and break the culture of silence surrounding this form of violence.

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Glass, N., J. Koziol-McLain, J. Campbell, and C.R. Block. 2004. Female-perpetrated femicide and attempted femicide: A case study. Violence Against Women 10.6: 606-625.

This study aims to fill the gap in knowledge surrounding female-perpetrated intimate partner violence and femicide in same-sex relationships. The study uses U.S. data from an 11-city case control study. Intimate femicide victims from 1994 to 2000 in each city were identified from police or medical examiner records. Of the 307 cases with available proxy informants, the proxy indicated that the perpetrator was a female intimate partner in 5 cases. Attempted femicide cases were located and of the 182 survivors, 4 identified the perpetrator as female. A case study of interviews is used to examine and identify variables important to these acts of violence. Results highlight common characteristics and risks in these cases. Among the nine total cases, physical violence, control and jealousy, substance use, suicidality on the part of the perpetrator or victim, threats, and attempted or actual partner estrangement were consistently seen prior to the violent incident. These findings appear consistent with male-perpetrated intimate partner femicide and attempted femicide. The commonalities among the cases reveal that power and control are dominant factors in cases of intimate partner femicide and attempted femicide, regardless of the perpetrator’s sex. The study affirms that service providers and actors in the criminal justice system need to be aware of risk factors for intimate partner violence and femicide, in order to warn women and take measures to ensure their protection.

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Gnisci, A., and A. Pace. 2016. Lethal domestic violence as a sequential process: Beyond the traditional regression approach to risk factors. Current Sociology 64.7: 1108-1123.

This paper provides a critical analysis of the traditional regression approach to domestic violence. The regression approach uses a target variable – intimate partner violence – and multiple independent predictor variables. The study’s aim is theoretical. It seeks to encourage the development of the regression approach in order to create additional more accurate and complex models. The study begins by reviewing research on risk factors of femicide that use a regression approach. A number of conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and statistical considerations are then proposed. The article supports the exploration of not only independent and dependent variables, but also varying connections among variables, such as mediations, moderations, direct and indirect links, and facilitating and suppressing factors. Although the regression approach has made many positive contributions, it often takes a rather static view of femicide which neglects to understand femicide as a process. The concept of sequential behavioural patterns – where importance is placed on the sequence of events and moves – is introduced in response to this problem. This concept holds that events transpiring in a different order can result in completely different outcomes. A better research approach to the study of femicide would offer a more thorough understanding of lethal domestic violence against women and present opportunities for more effective violence interventions.

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Gonzalez-Mendez, R., and J.D. Santana-Hernandez. 2012. Professional opinions on violence against women and femicide in Spain. Homicide Studies 16.1: 41-59. [Revised as requested]

This study presents information on the personal experiences of professionals working in the intimate partner violence field in Tenerife, Spain. The aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of the risk factors of femicide and ways of improving the current system. A qualitative research design that includes semi-structured interviews is used to obtain the opinions of 29 working professionals from different agencies. Findings of this study indicate that the majority of participants understand the cause of gender-based violence to be attributed to personal characteristics of male batterers, immigrant status of women, the termination of a relationship, the low abuse reporting behavior of murdered women, and the lack of perceived risk of lethal violence. In regards to male batterers, the majority of participants understand that gender-based violence tends to be more dangerous when it is associated to certain characteristics of male batterers, a greater women’s vulnerability due to their immigrant status, the termination of a relationship, the lack of perceived risk of lethal violence, and the low abuse reporting behavior of women. Lastly, in regards to the protection system, the majority of participants valued the expediency of fast-track trials in its ability to better serve the interests and protection of victims, and agreed that more resources and a greater degree of coordination among agencies is needed. Front-line workers are imperative to policy implementation. Thus, recognizing the opinions of working professionals most closely associated with femicide cases helps to identify important gaps in implementation which can lead to the development of sustainable policies that correspond with these reported experiences.

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Grana S.J. 2001. Sociostructural Considerations of Domestic Femicide. Journal of Family Violence 16.4: 421–435.

This study examines domestic violence and female homicide, considering the influence of sociostructural variables on its prevalence in the United States. Data were obtained from 32 state domestic violence coalitions. Variables included indicators of economic strain or inequality, criminal justice variables such as police presence, and community variables such as infant mortality and education. Once other variables were controlled for, population of the state was shown to have a significant positive relationship with domestic femicide. The study explains that as state population increases, the rate of domestic femicide will likely simultaneously increase. Larger states were seen to have higher rates of domestic femicide and the results indicate that state population explained 53 percent of these lethal incidents. The author hypothesizes that state population may be related to poverty and accessibility of resources and services for women which in turn may affect their risk of femicide. Findings suggest that femicide is not confined within certain social class groups or limited to individuals or communities with economic troubles.  The number of state policies and batterer intervention programming also did not appear to affect the rate of femicide within the state.  The author supports future research on femicide that addresses the problem of inconsistent data collection and missing information.

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Gregoratto, Federica. 2017. Why love kills: Power, gender, dichotomy, and romantic femicide. Hypatia 32.1: 135-151.

This article explores romantic femicide, hypothesizing that this typology of femicide is caused by the incapacity of some men to accept their female partner’s independence and power. Beyond the individual-level factors preventing this acceptance, the study investigates how the traditional gender dichotomy contributes to romantic femicide. To do so, the study reconceptualises love as a power dynamic. The study begins by using the feminist theory of recognition to describe a form of romantic love, free from violence. In this model, partners depend on each other, yet at the same time maintain independence. This interdependence involves a power dynamic where both partners are empowered. The study then explains how the traditional gender dichotomy between men and women disturbs this mutual dependence. This dichotomy can break the interdependence bond so that an unequal power dynamic remains and one partner – the female – is subject to the other’s domination. One partner asserts dominance, independence, and complete power, while the other remains solely dependent. The study argues that violence is a tool used to maintain this asymmetric relationship and the extreme manifestation of violence – romantic femicide – is a result of the inability to sustain this imbalance and traditional gender dynamics. Generally, this article demonstrates how romantic femicide materializes and how the traditional gender dichotomy has the potential to turn love lethal.

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Hardesty, J.L., J.C. Campbell, J.M. McFarlane, and L.A. Lewandowski. 2008. How children and their caregivers adjust after intimate partner femicide. Journal of Family Issues 29.1: 100-124.

This study examines the relatively unknown impact of intimate partner femicide on the children and caregivers affected by these incidents. The study draws on information obtained in in-depth interviews with 10 families, analyzed qualitatively through framework analysis. The family stress theory is employed in order to explore the experiences of the participants and their life adjustments following intimate partner femicide. Specifically, the following factors and their impact on adjustment are analyzed: pre-incident stressors, incident-specific stressors, resources, coping mechanisms, and perceptions of the event. Results indicate that children face a multitude of mental, physical, behavioural, and academic adjustment difficulties following intimate partner femicide. The stressors and hardships often were rooted in a number of factors and experiences: exposure to domestic violence in the home prior to the incident, witnessing the femicide, experiencing other family loss and illness, financial challenges, and conflict in the family. The caregivers additionally face the burden and stress of being left to care for disturbed children while dealing with their own challenges. The study finds that the families carried on by drawing on internal resources and attempting to cope on their own with the life-changing circumstances of the femicide. In a time when additional support is needed, the sample of participants indicated a lack of support and resources available. The study suggests the need for improved family-centered, strengths-based, and advocacy services and interventions.

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Idriss, M.M. 2015. Sentencing guidelines for HBV and Honour Killings. The Journal of Criminal Law 79.3: 198-210.

This article explores the role that the courts play in processing and deterring cases involving honour-based violence and honour killings in the United Kingdom. Through the examination of case law, the publication suggests that there is a need for a more structured system of guidance for the courts that includes all relevant aggravating and mitigating factors in cases involving honour-based violence. This will ensure that an appropriate balance is achieved between harm caused to the victim and culpability of the offender. Further, the article argues that the development of appropriate guidelines for sentencing will instil greater proportionality and consistency in sentencing practices amongst judges. The publication proposes that in cases involving honour-based violence, sexual infidelity should no longer be considered a trigger, youth of the offender should no longer be a mitigating factor, and honour killings should be considered aggravating crimes that accompany severe penalties. These reforms will help to convey the message that honour-based violence will not be tolerated. Although this study focuses on sentencing guidelines for courtrooms in the United Kingdom, the proposals in this article have important implications for sentencing practices internationally. Exploring the case law on honour-based violence in other countries may reveal similar trends that warrant further investigation.

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Iezzi, D.F. 2010. Intimate Femicide in Italy: A Model to Classify How Killings Happened. Data Analysis and Classification. 85-91.

This paper describes the development of a method to aid in the classification of femicide cases in Italy. The author analyzed 1,125 cases of femicide from 2000 to 2005 using data collected from newspaper sources. Using nine illustrative variables, the study explores the textual descriptions of the mechanisms of femicide. Findings suggest that intimate femicides primarily occur in the home, specifically within the bedroom or kitchen. Femicides that occurred outside the home were typically in cars or hotels. Regardless of whether the femicides were public or private, guns and knives were the most common methods of killing. In Southern parts of Italy, victims were more likely to be killed by the hands of their perpetrators.  In Northern and Central parts of Italy, victims were more likely to be killed using blunt instruments. The study finds the most important variable, however, to be the profession of the victim. Blue-collar workers, teachers, dependent workers, students, businesswomen, unemployed women, farmers, housewives, and nurses were victimized by their relatives, whereas prostitutes were victimized by strangers. The technique employed in this study is useful for analyzing large datasets in which a hypothesis cannot be derived at the outset. By examining the emerging patterns, the outcomes of future cases of femicide can be better predicted, aiding in the development of more informed prevention efforts.

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Johnson, H., L. Eriksson, P. Mazerolle, and R. Wortley. 2017. Intimate femicide: The role of coercive control. Feminist Criminology 1-21.

This paper explores the role domestic violence plays as a precursor to intimate partner homicide. Men who describe prior violence towards their victims are compared to those who describe no violence in their relationship prior to the killing. Data were drawn from the Australian Homicide project, through a sample of 68 men convicted of intimate partner homicide. Aiming to contribute to the area of risk assessment, the study examines histories of violence, the context of the killings, and characteristics of the offenders. The study finds that half of the sample reported no previous intimate partner violence. Perpetrators without a history of violence against their partner appeared to be more conventional in many respects. Both groups were similar with regard to mental health, substance abuse, and violent crime. Additionally, both groups demonstrated high levels of coercive control leading up to the death of their partners. The study asserts that coercive control provides the foundation for femicide, regardless of presence of physical or sexual violence. Coercive control may continue and not be regarded as a risk, even in a society where physical violence is condemned. Legal and social responses that judge severity based on physical injury and ignore coercive control in relationships may overlook an important factor for risk assessment. The study concludes that interventions that typify the “battered woman,” separating victims based on their worthiness, may exclude a large portion of women in need of assistance.

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Korteweg, A.C. 2012. Understanding Honour Killing and Honour-Related Violence in the Immigration Context: Implications for the Legal Profession and Beyond. Canadian Criminal Law Review 16.2: 135-160.

This article examines honour killings and honour-related violence in the immigration context. The article draws on interviews with policy makers and women in immigrant NGOs in the Netherlands, discussions surrounding honour killings in Dutch, German, British, and Canadian newspapers, and secondary sources and legal documents. The paper begins by illustrating the politicization of honour-related violence. Using culture as an explanation for honour-related violence racializes and stigmatizes immigrant communities, creating a barrier for community members’ access to violence protection and prevention services. Yet the study affirms that culture gives meaning to practices and is thus an important consideration for understanding and responding to violence. The study argues that honour-related violence should be understood as a form of gendered violence that affects all societies and is not confined to any one community or part of the world. Social patterns and policy efforts associated with honour killings are analyzed. The study then outlines legal processes in relation to these forms of violence in both immigrant-sending and immigrant-receiving nations. The article concludes with an analysis of three murder cases, in order to demonstrate the author’s approach to understanding honour killings. Overall, the study asserts that in order to understand violence against women in immigrant communities one must move beyond immigrant community characteristics, and instead examine the interactions between gender, race, ethnicity, religion and the immigrant-receiving country’s cultural, social, political, and legal climate.

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Koziol-McLain, J., D. Webster, J. McFarlane, C.R. Block, Y. Ulrich, N. Glass, and J.C. Campbell. 2006. Risk factors for femicide-suicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study. Violence and Victims 21.1: 3-21.

This study examines the murder of women by men who commit suicide following the incident – femicide-suicide – in an attempt to identify risk factors for this phenomenon. Data were drawn from a U.S. 11-city case-control study of femicide. Sixty-seven cases of femicide-suicide were identified, and offender, victim, relationship, and incident characteristics were examined using logistic regression. Additionally, 356 women residing in the same area who had experienced physical abuse were used as controls. Prior domestic violence was more common in the femicide-suicide group than previously seen in other research, though the use of proxies rather than criminal justice records may explain this difference. The femicide-suicide victims and perpetrators were more often White, Hispanic, and Asian, whereas African Americans had higher proportions in femicides that did not end in suicide. The femicide-suicide cases were more likely to involve married and employed partners, and less substance abuse and violence during pregnancy. The perpetrators in both groups were similar in regards to prior violent crime arrests and levels of fear they promoted in their female partners. Two risk factors unique to the femicide-suicide cases appeared throughout this study: prior suicide threats by the perpetrator, and victims and the perpetrator having ever been married. Though similarities exist in risk factors between femicide and femicide-suicide cases, this study demonstrates that femicide-suicide is a distinct phenomenon requiring tailored interventions and continued investigation.

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Landau, Simha F., and S.H. Rolef. 1998. Intimate femicide in Israel: Temporal, social, and motivational patterns. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 6: 75-90.

This publication investigates the climate of intimate femicide in Israel from 1990 to 1995. Specifically, temporal patterns, representation of various groups, and motivations for the intimate femicides are examined. Data were drawn from police records, court documents, newspapers, and information gathered by volunteer organizations focused on violence against women. The study analyzes the 76 total number of intimate femicide cases that occurred during the given time period. The findings follow the stress-support theoretical model which assumes that violence is positively associated with stressors, and negatively associated with supports. This is shown with the impact of a number of events in Israel on intimate femicide. Intimate femicide increased in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, demonstrating the impact of macro-level stress factors. Anger, frustration, and helplessness manifested in a civilian population facing war and extreme conditions. The Law for the Prevention of Family Violence in 1991 had an opposite effect, instigating a large, though short-lived, decrease in these killings in 1992. New immigrants, specifically from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union, are found to be overrepresented as perpetrators of these crimes. Most cases involved multiple motives that varied depending on the population group. Possessiveness by the offender is indicated in the majority of the cases, in concert with other factors such as altercations, mental health issues, substance use, and so forth. Generally, these findings illustrate the unique nature of Israeli intimate femicide and the need to give special attention to stress and its impact on violence.

 

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Luévano, R. 2008. A Living Call: The Theological Challenge of the Juárez-Chihuahua Femicides. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 24.2: 67-76.

This article examines femicide and the disappearance of women in Juárez-Chihuahua through a religious lens. Using the murder of Sagrario González-Flores as a case study, the social and political conditions of the region are outlined. The paper highlights the vulnerability of women with intersecting inequalities and the high rates of violence against women in the region. It is the social, political, and economic conditions of the country that foster government corruption and impunity, leading to injustice for victims of violence, especially female victims. Thus, femicide requires an examination of the effects of globalization, including the impact of NAFTA, on the region of Northern Mexico and on the patriarchy which perpetuates men’s hatred for and dehumanization of women. Within a theological context, two important questions regarding femicide must be asked. First, how could these extreme forms of violence against women occur and second, how could such devastating violence be allowed to continue? The author argues that Northern Mexico is within a state of lawlessness and describes the horrific killings and dismemberment of women in the area as a form of evil. According to the author, this phenomenon requires an appropriate response from religious institutions and communities to denounce all forms of violence, including violence against intimate partners. A call is made for the creation of religious and ethical responses to femicide and institutional education on the pitfalls of machismo culture and its relation to domestic violence.

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Luffy, S.M., D.P. Evans, and R.W. Rochat. 2015. “It is better if I kill her”: Perceptions and opinions of violence against women and femicide in Ocotal, Nicaragua, after Law 779. Violence and Gender 2.2: 107-111.

The goal of this study is to examine the perceptions surrounding femicide among women in Nicaragua since the enactment of Law 779. Law 779 is a national law that was introduced in 2012 and designed to end violence against women in Nicaragua. A qualitative research design is employed to explore the personal opinions of women in the city of Ocotal. From May to June 2014, women from three different neighbourhoods in Ocotal participated in three semi-structured focus group discussions. Findings of this study suggest that the enactment of Law 779 has not eradicated violence against women, as participants still perceive femicide as a widespread issue in Nicaragua. Instead, results of this study demonstrate a reported increase in femicide. The majority of participants reported that machismo, a common characteristic of male batterers, is associated with the perpetuation of gender inequality in Nicaragua. This study demonstrates the importance of obtaining personal opinions of women about the context surrounding femicide in order to combat gender inequality and appropriately address the barriers that have an impact on women’s physical, mental, and reproductive health. Additionally, this study serves as a foundation for future research on the subject of femicide in Nicaragua. Reliable incidence data is warranted to expand current knowledge on this topic.

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Marcuello-Servós, C., C. Corradi, S. Weil, and S. Boira. 2016. Femicide: A social challenge. Current Sociology 64.7: 967-974.

This article provides a comprehensive introduction to the phenomenon of femicide, lethal violence against women and girls. The paper incorporates research with different perspectives from different regions of the world, showing the evolution of the conceptualization of femicide over time. Along with varying theoretical explanations, the article examines empirical analyses, and policies surrounding these violent crimes. Beginning with an overview of the phenomenon, the paper asserts that femicide is the most extreme form of violence against women and girls, and is not isolated nor contained to any one region of the world. Femicide is said to differ significantly from male homicide in its private, intimate nature, and in its relation to power differentials between men and women. Moving through an examination of relevant research in the topic area, the article highlights the challenge and need to secure the visibility of femicide in society and sociological research. The selected research provides a diverse outlook on this phenomenon, covering topics such as theories of femicide, criminal justice responses to these crimes, feminist activism, and risk factors. The article concludes that demarking and defining femicide clearly and carefully is integral for formulating and understanding, research, public policies, and social strategies with the aim of ending these crimes and the impunity surrounding them.

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Martin P.M., and N. Carvajal. 2016. Feminicide as ‘act’ and ‘process’: a geography of gendered violence in Oaxaca. Gender, Place and Culture 23.7: 989-1002.

This article examines feminicide, linking the killings to other forms of violence in Oaxaca, Mexico. An archive on feminicide was created using local newspaper articles and contained information on socio-demographic characteristics of the victim and offender, location of the crime, other types of violence committed in the attack, victim-offender relationship, and legal outcomes. Additional data were collected through interviews with individuals who have opinions on or an interest in feminicide in Oaxaca, such as NGO representatives and local officials. Findings reveal that housewife was the most common occupation of the victims, suggesting that feminicide in Oaxaca is linked to the restructuring of gendered roles and women’s increased prominence in the public arena. Spatially, three patterns emerged: (1) most feminicides took place in areas of transition towards urbanization; (2) the highest rate of these killings occurred in the Valles Centrales; and (3) the majority of bodies were abandoned outside, which contrasts the perception of these incidents as being perpetrated by partners in a heat of passion. Results demonstrate the complex, context-sensitive nature of feminicide. The study finds traditional masculinity and sexual violence to be relevant in a number of cases in Oaxaca, however, other processes are said to overlap with these gendered dynamics, such as geographical mobility. The methodological challenges encountered in studying and documenting feminicide were also discussed.

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Mathews, S., N. Abrahams, R. Jewkes, L.J. Martin, C. Lombard, and L. Vetten.  2009. Injury patterns of female homicide victims in South Africa. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 67.1: 168-172.

This paper explores the occurrence of female homicide in South Africa and the characteristics of injury patterns in 1999. The study was conducted from a random sample of 25 mortuaries and information included autopsy records and police reports. The data comprised information on characteristics of the victim and perpetrator, victim-offender relationship, and notes on the outcome of the case. Results depict that women killed in South Africa are most likely killed by a firearm, which is consistent with other countries with high levels of violence and where firearms are readily available. When women were killed by blunt force trauma, the perpetrator was most often an intimate partner of the victim. Discrepancies are found between the race of the victim and the method in which they were killed as women of colour were more likely to be killed by trauma than by firearms. This study brings attention to inconsistencies in autopsy practices as a full autopsy was conducted in only 70 percent of cases and there were many variations in how injuries were recorded. Deaths by blunt force injuries showed the most discrepancy in their reporting practices. Recommendations for future research include examining how autopsy practices contribute to the prosecution of female homicide cases.

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McFarlane Judith M., J.C. Campbell, S. Wilt, C.J. Sachs, Y. Ulrich, and X. Xu. 1999. Stalking and intimate partner femicide. Homicide Studies 3.4: 300-316.

This research investigates stalking as an antecedent to attempted and actual femicide in the United States. The authors relied on a sample of 10 U.S. cities and obtained information from police reports on 141 femicide and 65 attempted femicide cases that occurred between 1994 and 1998. The research draws on accounts of survivors of the attempted femicide cases and proxy victims for the cases where the victim had been killed. Results show that most victims experienced some form of stalking in the year preceding the attack, 76 percent in cases of completed femicide and 85 percent in cases of attempted femicide. The study finds that victims, and especially those who were killed, who endure physical violence prior to the major attack are also more likely to experience stalking. These findings suggest that stalking should be considered as a noteworthy risk factor in predicting lethal and near-lethal violence against women. The authors explain that protection procedures and laws often fail to properly address stalking behaviours or protect women who experience this form of harassment. The implementation of stalking into all risk assessment procedures is recommended. Further research is suggested on the characteristics of stalking and its relation to violence against women.

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Muftic, L.R., and M.L. Baumann. 2012. Female versus male perpetrated femicide: An exploratory analysis of whether offender gender matters. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 27.14: 2824-2844.

This exploratory study compares the victim, offender, and crime characteristics of female-perpetrated femicide (FPF) versus male-perpetrated femicide (MPF). Data were collected from the Dallas, Texas Police Department’s Homicide Unit, from January 1981 through December 1997. The sample consisted of 403 cases of single suspect-single victim femicide, 39 with female offenders and 364 with male offenders. Incident-level and demographic variables are analyzed. Statistical significance is tested using independent sample t tests and chi-square statistics. The study does not find females killed by a female to be significantly different from those killed by a male. Further, the study finds few differences between FPF suspects and MPF suspects. At the relationship level, statistically significant results demonstrate that FPF suspects are more likely to be an acquaintance of the victim than the MPF suspects who are more likely to have killed an intimate partner or stranger. FPF cases are significantly more likely to involve an altercation or familial violence, whereas MPF cases are significantly more likely to be related to criminal behaviour or sexual motives. Femicide-suicides were solely perpetrated by males in this sample, suggesting that suicide is not a threat in cases involving female perpetrators. These results demonstrate that the effects of suspect gender are most obvious within the victim-offender relationship context. The results of this study indicate that FPF is, in fact, unique from MPF.

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Musalo, Karen., and B. Bookey. 2014. Crimes without punishment: An update on violence against women and impunity in Guatemala. Social Justice 40.4: 106-117.

This article offers an overview on the current state of femicide, violence against women, and impunity for these crimes in Guatemala. The study uses secondary sources, including statistics and crime rates, to broadly discuss Guatemalan femicide. By first examining the patterns of violence against women, the authors give a clear picture of how this violence continues to exist in the context of deep-rooted gender discrimination. The authors identify four principal barriers to the successful implementation of Guatemala’s laws on gender-based violence: 1) widespread bias and ineffectiveness in the justice system; 2) lack of clarity and understanding of the laws; 3) lack of access to free legal services and shelters for victims; and 4) additional obstacles for perhaps the largest group of victims, indigenous women. Three main recommendations on how to proceed are proposed: 1) establish specialized courts in all jurisdictions in the country; 2) implement a monitoring program to evaluate the actions of public officials in applying the gender violence legislation and a system of disciplinary actions for those who fail to meet the standards of application; and 3) increase local and international pressure towards the Guatemalan government and its need to implement and uphold its enacted laws. The authors conclude that while the creation of Guatemala’s 2008 law against femicide was forward-looking, it is not sufficient due to the fact that many government bodies have not responded effectively.

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Ní Aoláin, F. 2014. Gendered Harms and their Interface with International Criminal Law. International Feminist Journal of Politics 16.4: 622-646.

This article considers the effects of the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the creation of a Statute that enhances legal sanctions for gender-based violence. Specifically, the article examines the connection between domestic and international action following these changes. The first section of the study investigates the formation of international criminal law, and its ability to address gendered violence. The study then analyzes domestic legislation addressing gender-based violence and its interconnections with the ICC Statute system. In order to do so, the author uses data obtained from 122 States that highlights legislative change, or lack thereof, following the ICC’s establishment. This analysis reveals that significant domestic legislation on gender-based violence has been implemented since the establishment of these international instruments. The final segment of this study presents implications in relation to the introduction of new domestic legislation, addressing the impacts, both positive and negative, that result from a focus on criminal law as a main mechanism to counter gender-based violence. Examining domestic developments allows for an understanding of the interplay between domestic and international law, and how international norms can contribute to a greater responsibility placed on states to address, foster awareness for, and combat violence against women.

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Palma-Solis, M., C. Vives-Cases, and C. Álvarez-Dardet. 2008. Gender progress and government expenditure as determinants of femicide. Annals of Epidemiology 18.4: 322-329.

This publication presents the results of an ecological, retrospective study that examines the impact of economic, political, and gender progress indicators on rates of femicide. A sample of 61 countries and their relevant statistics from 1990 to 1999 is used. The statistical variables examined include: economic indicators (such as domestic consumption and per capita imports and exports), political indicators (such as the GINI coefficient and the civil and political rights index), and gender progress indicators (such as the gender ratio for education and the percentage of females in parliament). Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses are used in order to determine the emerging relations and interactions between the variables. The study’s findings demonstrate that economic, political, and gender progress factors affect rates of femicide. Specifically, reductions in government expenditure and democratic backwardness in relation to gender surface as possible determinants of femicide. This suggests that factors such as increased government spending on social services per capita and female participation in political institutions may be necessary in order to prevent and eliminate femicide and violence against women more generally. This study and its findings illustrate the need to give greater consideration to structural factors when investigating femicide and planning prevention responses.

 

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Parker, K.F., and M.K. Hefner. 2013. Intersections of race, gender, disadvantage, and violence: Applying intersectionality to the macro-level study of female homicide. Justice Quarterly 32.2: 223-254.

This article examines the interactions of various forms of inequality (race, gender, and class) on the rate of female-perpetrated homicide. This macro-level study relied on an intersectional framework, which takes into account how race and gender influence the opportunities available to women in the United States and impact their likelihood of homicide perpetration. Data were collected from 168 cities across the United States in 1990 and again in 2000 and included the number of white and Black female homicides, measurements of poverty, family makeup, unemployment, residential segregation, and domestic violence services. The authors find associations between economic deprivation, divorce, and female homicide offending of both Black and white females. A correlation between resources and female homicide offending is seen for white females only in 1990, suggesting that Black women may not have access to these resources and white women may have had less access in 2000 than in 1990. Findings provide some support for the use of an intersectional framework to aid in the understanding of the underlying reasons for differences in homicide trends as results showed some variation between the rates of Black and white female offenders. However, because results of this study were mixed, more research into the intersections of gender and race inequality is needed.

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Parmigiani, G. We are Witnesses, Not Victims. The Affective Politics of Representation in the Struggle against ‘femicide’ in Italy. (PhD Diss, University of Toronto, 2015), 1-344.

This dissertation explores the feminist struggle against gendered violence and femicide, illustrating the way violence is understood in society and the feminist re-structuring of womanhood in Salento, Italy. Ethnographic research is conducted to examine the discursive and affective elements surrounding violence against women. In particular, the author analyzes the informants’ representations of gendered violence and the “imagined audiences” that are constructed to challenge the conceptualization and performances surrounding womanhood in Italy. Data from participant observation, interviews, and texts were assembled for this research. In an effort to challenge current representations of violence against women, the informants of this study attempt to mobilize local communities through ethical, aesthetic and political enterprises. The author argues that some ‘solutions’ to femicide put forward have been viewed by feminists as hindering the cause, because of the representation of the problem. Therefore, the work of feminists have included attempts to change the discourse and the representation of women as victims, a concept which is consistent with a patriarchal society. Portraying women as victims, weak, passive, or helpless, is inconsistent with women’s movements that promote female autonomy. Directions for future research include ethnographic research that explores the response or reception of feminist actions in Italy.

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Richards, T.N., L.K. Gillespie, and E.M. Givens. 2014. Reporting Femicide-Suicide in the News: The Current Utilization of Suicide Reporting Guidelines and Recommendations for the Future. Journal of Family Violence 29.4: 453-463.

This article examines the extent to which the media have implemented suicide-reporting guidelines in cases of femicide-suicide.  The sample included 143 newspaper articles covering 83 femicide-suicide cases in North Carolina, United States from 2002 to 2009. Data were analyzed using a qualitative research design to assess whether recommendations regarding media reporting on suicides encouraged by public health officials have also been applied to cases of femicide-suicide. The authors list eight recommendations that have been suggested for suicide reporting which consist of not diminishing the complexity of the issue, careful use of language, refraining from romanticizing the deceased, not sensationalizing headlines, avoiding images, use of suicide experts, and providing information on suicide prevention resources. Findings of this research suggest that there is an inconsistency in the implementation of reporting guidelines as some guidelines are adhered to more than others. The majority of femicide-suicide articles did not sensationalize titles, properly represented the facts of the case, and did not romanticize the perpetrator.  However, the articles often failed to consult experts, diminished the complexity of the phenomenon by attributing it to a singular cause, and did not provide resource information for potential victims. The authors stress the importance of clear and accurate reporting in cases of femicide-suicide as the media is presented with a unique opportunity to raise public awareness and caution potential future victims of femicide about their risk. Collaboration between the media and domestic violence agencies is encouraged to develop policies on the best practices when reporting on femicide-suicides.

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Richards, T.N., L.K. Gillespie, and M.D. Smith. 2011. Exploring News Coverage of Femicide: Does Reporting the News Add Insult to Injury? Feminist Criminology 6.3: 178-202.

This article explores the media’s role in constructing the representation of femicide. Data were collected from newspaper articles from North Carolina, United States during a six-year period. The sample included 995 articles documenting 299 cases of femicide. Within the context of this research, femicide is defined as the killing of a woman perpetrated by a male intimate partner. Using a content analysis, the authors analyze the representation of victims, victim-blaming tactics employed by the media, the portrayal of femicide as an individual problem or related to the continuum of violence experienced by intimate partners, and the sources used in media coverage. Findings suggest that the most commonly used victim-blaming strategy is a suggestion that the victim did not take the necessary preventative steps to protect themselves from violence. Other common tactics of victim blaming consist of details regarding the victim’s infidelity and any addictions or mental health problems incurred by the victim. With respect to sources relied upon by the media, articles often cited members of the public, such as criminal justice actors including lawyers or law enforcement. However, the authors noticed an increase in the citing of academic sources in more recent years.  Most of the articles on femicide did not represent this violence within the broader context of violence against women, however, when articles did acknowledge this connection, they were more likely to provide contact information for intimate partner violence services.

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Richards, T.N., L.K. Gillespie, and M.D. Smith. 2014. An examination of the media portrayal of femicide-suicides: An exploratory frame analysis. Feminist Criminology 9.1: 24-44.

This article examines the representation of femicide-suicides in the media. Using data from North Carolina, United States from 2002 to 2009, the authors employ qualitative and quantitative content analysis to explore how femicide-suicides have been portrayed and specifically, to analyze the sources, context, and language selection chosen by the media. Data included 86 cases of femicide-suicides that were collected from newspapers articles and collated with a list of femicides from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV). In more than half of the cases in the sample, it was not evident from the title that the news article was a femicide-suicide or a killing by an intimate partner, as many of the incidents were simply named homicides or homicides-suicides. With respect to sources, police were used as the main source of information as they were cited in 88 percent of the cases examined. Results of the analysis on the portrayals of the victim and perpetrator indicate that domestic violence was explicitly mentioned in only 13 percent of cases and alluded to in 14 percent of cases. In 16 percent of the total cases, strategies the victim took to protect herself were discussed, while in nine percent of the cases the articles suggested that the victims did not take appropriate prevention measures. Although previous research has found mental illness as a significant risk factor for femicide-suicide, few articles mentioned any mental health concerns. The authors call for an increased focus on domestic violence and its intersections with femicide-suicides in media reporting.

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Sanford, V. 2008. From genocide to feminicide: Impunity and human rights in twenty-first century Guatemala. Journal of Human Rights 7.2: 104-122.

This article examines the human rights crisis in Guatemala. The mortality rate of Guatemalan women over a decade after peace accords were signed continues at critically high levels that mirror those at the height of the civil war. The article assesses Guatemalan society which continues to be affected by widespread state impunity. The author overviews the truth commission’s findings of genocide and court outcomes focused on Guatemalan genocide. To answer questions of responsibility associated with the genocide, the author draws on a database of all 626 army massacres from 1980 to 1982 that include the massacre location, the perpetrators, and important demographic characteristics of the victims. The article then uses secondary sources and statistics to examine the context of social cleansing in Guatemala. Further, the author explores the impacts of feminicide on individuals, along with Guatemalan society as a whole by analyzing the case of Claudina Isabel Velasquez Pais. In the case analysis section, the article pays particular attention to the problem of improper investigations. The author notes that the current state of feminicide and social cleansing in Guatemala is exacerbated by the justice system’s dismissal of victims as unworthy. The rise of violence in “peacetime” Guatemala is a product of the dismissal of the law by those tasked with upholding it. The author concludes with a very brief discussion of recommendations on how the international community can help to end the violence and impunity in Guatemala.

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Saramo, S. 2016. Unsettling Spaces: Grassroots Responses to Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women During the Harper Government Years. Comparative American Studies An International Journal 14.3-4: 204-220.

Focusing on activism around the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada during the years of the Harper Government, this article examines how these grassroots initiatives challenge Canadian politics, reclaim streets and liminal zones, and make space for sacred commemoration. As a result of intersecting inequalities related to patriarchy and colonization, Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada are significantly more likely to be victims of lethal and non-lethal violence. Under the previous Canadian federal Conservative government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper resisted allocating resources into an investigation of these murders and disappearances, deeming this issue a low priority. Grassroots Indigenous activist groups such as Idle No More and the Sisters in Spirit Movement have been integral in claiming space for Indigenous women who have been victims of violence. In addition, through the use of popular social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, activists were able to spread awareness and raise support for an inquiry into the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada. These campaigns brought violence against women and more specifically violence against Indigenous women to the forefront of Canadian public interest.  Examples of online community activism include the hashtag #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), which connected various activities both online and offline, and the #AmINext Campaign which created a platform to discuss the increased risk faced by Indigenous women. Longstanding pressure from grassroots activists and organizations resulted in making a national inquiry a priority issue for the Liberal Party in the 2015 federal issue.

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Saramo, S. 2016. Unsettling Spaces: Grassroots Responses to Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women During the Harper Government Years. Comparative American Studies An International Journal 14.3-4: 204-220.

Focusing on activism around the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada during the years of the Harper Government, this article examines how these grassroots initiatives challenge Canadian politics, reclaim streets and liminal zones, and make space for sacred commemoration. As a result of intersecting inequalities related to patriarchy and colonization, Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada are significantly more likely to be victims of lethal and non-lethal violence. Under the previous Canadian federal Conservative government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper resisted allocating resources into an investigation of these murders and disappearances, deeming this issue a low priority. Grassroots Indigenous activist groups such as Idle No More and the Sisters in Spirit Movement have been integral in claiming space for Indigenous women who have been victims of violence. In addition, through the use of popular social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, activists were able to spread awareness and raise support for an inquiry into the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada. These campaigns brought violence against women and more specifically violence against Indigenous women to the forefront of Canadian public interest. Examples of online community activism include the hashtag #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), which connected various activities both online and offline, and the #AmINext Campaign which created a platform to discuss the increased risk faced by Indigenous women. Longstanding pressure from grassroots activists and organizations resulted in making a national inquiry a priority issue for the Liberal Party in the 2015 federal issue.

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Scassa, T. 1993. Sentencing Intimate Femicide: A Comment on R. v. Doyle. Dalhousie Law Journal 16: 270-282.

This article reviews the legal decision in a case of intimate partner femicide from Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1989, Donald Doyle killed his wife by shooting her in the chest while she slept. Doyle was initially charged with first degree murder but pleaded guilty to second degree murder. He was given the minimum sentence in Canada for this offense: life in prison with no chance of parole for ten years. On appeal, however, the Crown argued that this sentence was too lenient and the Court of Appeal agreed, changing the minimum eligibility for parole to seventeen years. Upon handing down the increased sentence, the Court of Appeal rendered a decision that gave guidance to judges for sentencing intimate femicide cases. The character of the accused, his motivations, and his ability to feel remorse are elements that should be weighed in any homicide, but are particularly important to consider in cases of intimate femicide. Furthermore, the Court of Appeal asserted that there is a degree of trust in intimate relationships and the violation of such trust should be considered an aggravating factor. The author concludes that the decision set out by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal is a significant advancement in the development of sentencing intimate femicide cases as it moves away from the idea that perpetrators of intimate violence should receive a discount for killing someone close to them.

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Sela-Shayovitz, R. 2010. External and Internal Terror: The Effects of Terrorist Acts and Economic Changes on Intimate Femicide Rates in Israel. Feminist Criminology 5.2: 135-155.

This research investigates the impact of social and economic insecurity on rates of femicide. The author focuses on the second Palestinian uprising, known as the Second Intifada in Israel, and examines temporal patterns of femicide, changes in rates before the uprising and during the uprising, and any changes in the use of firearms to commit femicide. Within the context of this research, femicide includes only cases where women are killed by an intimate partner, thus excluding honour killings, whereby a woman is killed by a relative.  Data were collected on homicide and femicide rates from 1995 to 2005 using national statistics to assess any differences in the rates of intimate femicide across various ethnic groups in Israel. Results suggest that there was no significant difference in the rate of intimate femicide preintifada compared to during the uprising. However, during the same period of time, the author finds immigrants from the Soviet Union and Ethiopia to be highly overrepresented as perpetrators of femicide. In particular, the overrepresentation of Ethiopian perpetrators increased by twenty times during the Second Intifada. The study finds immigrant groups to be significantly more likely to use a firearm to commit femicide during the intifada than they were preintifada. Increases in firearms among immigrant groups were attributed to the expansion of security forces during the same period of time. Findings of this study suggest that while domestic violence services were greatly expanded in Israel during the Second Intifada, these services may not have been accessible to immigrant women.

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Sela-Shayovitz, R. 2010. The Role of Ethnicity and Context: Intimate Femicide Rates Among Social Groups in Israeli Society. Violence Against Women 16.12: 1424-1436.

This article explores differences in intimate femicide across ethnic groups in Israel. Data were collected on intimate femicide rates from 1995 to 2007 from national police statistics. Findings of this study suggest that the characteristics of femicide, including the rate and circumstances of femicide, differ by ethnicity of the perpetrator in Israel. Jewish and Arabic descendants born in Israel were significantly less likely than immigrant groups to be perpetrators of femicide. Perpetrators originating from the Soviet Union were severely over represented in the sample, being more than 100 times more likely to be a perpetrator of femicide than other ethnic groups. This group was also more likely to commit femicide under the influence of alcohol than other groups.  The motive for the crime also appears to differ across groups, as the primary motive in femicides perpetrated by Jewish descendants was separation, compared to infidelity among Arabic perpetrators.  Ethiopian immigrants’ motives for femicide were depression in 25 percent of the cases. As a result, perpetrators of Ethiopian descent differed with respect to their inclination toward suicide, as this group was almost twice as likely to commit suicide following the femicide than perpetrators of other ethnic groups. Therefore, increased social services for immigrants are encouraged. The author also calls for future research into the trends of intimate femicide within immigrant communities.

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Shalhoub-Kevorkian, N. 2000. Mapping and analyzing the landscape of femicide in Palestinian society. Report Submitted to UNIFEM, Project and Research Director: Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling.

This paper provides an overview of femicide in Palestine, drawing on an action-oriented research perspective. Questionnaires, interviews, Attorney General’s office records, court records, and official statistics are examined. This was the first project to expand the definition of femicide from an actual killing to include threats, attempted femicide, and completed femicide. The study aims to break the silence surrounding femicide, provide support to victims, and aid service providers and policy makers tasked with dealing with this form of violence against women. After analyzing the Palestinian situation, the paper concludes with a number of recommendations. Professionals who work with abused women should acknowledge the victim’s narrative, perceived cognitive frame (i.e. how one processes threats) and move beyond addressing solely the objective threats themselves, looking more at the structure of oppression. As shown with the lack of accurate, reliable, and well-documented official records, there is a great need for the creation of an official femicide data bank, and an institution/body charged with investigating and recording all suspected and actual cases. Finally, femicide interventions, legislators, policymakers, service providers, and workers should be trained in contextually-sensitive and appropriate approaches to combatting this crime. By implementing an awareness and training, it will be possible to bring attention to this issue and ensure a just interventions and treatment of these crimes.

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Shalhoub-Kevorkian, N., and S. Daher-Nashif. 2013. Femicide and colonization: Between the politics of exclusion and the culture of control. Violence Against Women 19.3: 295-315.

This study examines the nature and characteristics of femicide among the Palestinian minority in Israel. In particular, the study explores the intersection of informal, tribal, social-legal structures and formal legal systems in Israel and its effect on the control of women. To address this issue, a qualitative research design is used. Data for this study were collected through the use of interviews, media and text analysis, and observation techniques. Findings suggest that male dominance over women in Israel is reinforced by the “culturalization” and “Otherization” of the Palestinian community by the State. This thus depoliticizes the context surrounding femicide, locating it within a certain cultural realm, and strengthening the informal patriarchal notions among the Palestinian community. By depoliticizing the issue, this removes State responsibility and the need for Israeli authorities to take action. Male domination is seen within crimes of femicide themselves, yet also through the State-wide impunity fostered by an Israeli formal legal system that is unwilling to protect these women. The authors affirm that the effects of colonization and the segregation of Palestinian communities enables these crimes. This study demonstrates the importance of treating the murder of women as a political concern, which moves beyond the misguided racialized depictions of femicide in Middle Eastern societies.

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Sharps, P.W., J. Campbell, D. Campbell, F. Gary, and D. Webster. 2001. The role of alcohol use in intimate partner femicide. The American Journal on Addictions 10.2: 122-135.

This study examines the role of alcohol as a risk factor for intimate partner femicide. Data included in this research were part of a larger 10-city study on risk factors of femicide. The sample included information on 380 cases of femicide that were collected from victims of attempted femicide and from proxy victims (typically family members) in cases of completed femicide. The authors also included two control groups, one that relied on information from abused women and the other from women who had not suffered abuse. Five questions, modified from the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), were used to measure victims’ and perpetrators’ alcohol consumption prior to the violent incident. Questions focused on the frequency of alcohol usage, usage during the violent event, substance abuse issues, and any treatment that may have been received. No significant variation in alcohol use is found across the three female samples (femicide group, abused group, and non-abused group) and the results show that the women were significantly less likely to consume alcohol than their partners. However, more women who belonged to the femicide group or the abused group are described as having a problem with binge drinking. Significant differences are also found in the perpetrator’s alcohol use with a greater proportion of perpetrators of femicide described as an alcoholic or a binge drinker. The authors suggest that risk assessment tools should be amended to measure increased alcohol consumption by the perpetrator as a risk factor for femicide.

 

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Spinelli, B. 2011. Femicide and Feminicide in Europe. Gender-Motivated Killings of Women as a Result of Intimate Partner Violence.

This paper was prepared for a United Nations meeting on gendered killings. The document is meant to increase understanding of causes of femicide, explore challenges in addressing femicide, and promote best practices for reducing femicide. Included in this report is an explanation of the differences between definitions of femicide and feminicide, the occurrence of femicide, and its causes in Europe. Further, the publication outlines common characteristics of femicide across Europe and circumstances that place women at an increased risk. Eradicating the inequality that exists between the genders is identified as a necessary component for reducing and preventing femicide. National responses to femicide and feminicide in Europe, including legislative amendments on gendered violence, are reviewed.  Evidence shows that many cases of femicide could have been avoided if States had mandated a collaborative approach to femicide prevention. As a result, a number of recommendations are made to States, including the development of education and training programs and the greater allocation of resources to service providers. At an international level, is it suggested that the European Union develop minimum standards on femicide prevention which would be obligatory for all Member States and would include the creation of a regional femicide database. The European Union is also encouraged to develop accountability mechanisms to ensure that states are complying with international standards regarding the protection of women.

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Stamatel, J.P. 2015. The effects of detrimental drinking patterns and drug use on female homicide victimization rates across Europe. Current Sociology 64.7: 1090-1107.

This study seeks to explain variations in national female homicide victimization rates by examining patterns in drinking and drug use in 34 countries across Europe. Female homicide victimization is used as a proxy for femicide as prior research shows that a large portion of female homicides occur within a familial or intimate context, confirming their distinct gendered nature. The dependent variable for this study is the World Health Organization’s female homicide victimization rate per 100,000 people from 2003 to 2007. Independent variables include drinking pattern and drug mortality rate. Drinking pattern is coded using an index which ranges from 1 (least risky drinking) to 4 (most risky drinking) and considers a comprehensive list of measures. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report provided the detrimental drug use data for the study. Other structural correlates are controlled for. The study does not find cultural drinking patterns to be significantly related to female homicide victimization, contrary to previous research and expectations. Detrimental drug use, a variable not previously investigated in the literature, is found to have a significant positive effect on female homicide victimization. The study suggests the need for future research and consideration into cultural explanations of femicide, particularly into detrimental drug use.

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Starr, Chelsea. 2017. When Culture Matters: Frame Resonance and Protests against Femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The Qualitative Report 22.5: 1359-1379.

This article explores the framing of movements against femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to determine how organizations can increase the success of their movements. Within the context of this research, femicide refers to the killing of women solely because they are women. The author relies on the framing theoretical perspective, which suggests that the language and method of representing a social problem can affect whether that problem is successfully recognized by the targeted audience. Data were comprised of three datasets, which included print such as newspapers and flyers, images, and the content from websites of anti-femicide organizations. A qualitative content analysis using a grounded theory coding strategy was adopted to critically examine five ‘frames’ or representations of femicide by organizations in the region. All of the organizations examined have the common goal of increasing public awareness on femicide and contesting the impunity surrounding the violence. The author found that all of the organizations increased public awareness in some way, but the degree to which they achieved this goal differed across the groups. Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa was the only group of the five examined that was able to make substantive change, having won a case in the Inter-American Court which

deemed the state liable for the impunity surrounding femicide. The findings of this research suggest that frames that are culturally relevant to the audience tend to be better received. In order for strategies of framing to be successful, organizations should ensure that their frames coincide the audience’s culture.

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Strange, C. 2003. Masculinities, Intimate Femicide and the Death Penalty in Australia. British Journal of Criminology 43: 310-339.

This study examines the cases of 64 men sentenced to death for attempting to kill or murdering their intimate female partners in New South Wales, Australia, between 1890 and 1920. Long before the term ‘femicide’ was used, such offences were treated harshly in a criminal justice system staffed exclusively by men – police, prosecutors, jurors and judges. Although men condemned to death for such murders benefitted from a ‘domestic discount’ (in contrast to men convicted for other forms of homicide they were less likely to be executed), jurors’ readiness to convict and judges’ condemnation of femicidal killers shows that male disapprobation of intimate partner violence was more pronounced at the turn-of-the century than it was a century later. The author examines how hierarchies of masculinity became stark as men attempted to make sense of femicide. Defendants perceived to be ‘respectable’ were spared more often than were ‘brutes’, who appeared to be a general threat to society. Many perpetrators defended their violence by reference to flaws of their female victim, hoping to elicit sympathy from the men authorized to judge their acts; however, judgements typically identified masculine failings. Although restoring the death penalty is not the solution to femicide, this paper suggests that men’s policing of their fellow men could play a greater role in stemming men’s violence toward intimate partners.

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Taylor, R. and E.L. Nabors. 2009. Pink or Blue… Black and Blue? Examining Pregnancy as a Predictor of Intimate Partner Violence and Femicide. Violence Against Women 15.11: 1273-1293.

This article examines the impact of pregnancy on women’s risk of intimate partner violence. Violence at any time is detrimental to women, however violence during pregnancy can have a devastating effect on both the mother and the unborn child. Data were collected from the Chicago Women’s Health Risk Study (CWHRS) from 1995 to 1998. Three models were used to compare levels of violence and the risk associated with pregnancy: no abuse reported, nonlethal abuse reported, and lethal abuse reported. Sixty-five percent of the women in the sample reported nonlethal abuse, 28 percent reported no abuse, and 8 percent were victims of lethal abuse.  Results of this study suggest that women who are pregnant experience less nonlethal violence than women who are not pregnant. However, when experiencing violence, pregnant women are just as likely to experience lethal violence, as they are non-lethal violence. Employment and marital status are also associated with non-lethal violence, as women who were employed and married to their partners were at a lower risk for abuse. The author concludes by calling for future studies on the risk of pregnancy in cases of intimate partner violence and suggests that characteristics of the perpetrator should be included to help determine when a woman’s risk of violence is increased by pregnancy

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Taylor, R., and J.L. Jasinski. 2011. Femicide and the feminist perspective. Homicide Studies 15.4: 341-362.

This paper explains the feminist perspective, defending why this theory should continue to be employed in femicide research. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of the feminist perspective, femicide studies that have used this perspective, and their results, including supporting evidence and findings inconsistent with theoretical underpinnings. Feminist theory is rooted in the belief that patriarchy and inequality between men and women are embedded in the structures of our society. Feminist-based analyses on femicide center on the idea that female oppression and male dominated culture are related to violence against women. The theory that violence against women is related to gender inequality is one that has been tested numerous times and one which research continues to support. The authors discuss previous research that have used other theoretical perspectives, including social disorganization and social learning theory, which have been unsuccessful in sufficiently explaining femicide. Numerous variables have been examined in previous research at the macro-level, including race, population, and the status of women, while micro-level research has examined women’s status, education, and employment relative to men’s. Recommendations for future research include combining macro- and micro-level studies to gain a more complete understanding of femicide, increasing intervention measures, and customizing services for women. 

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Taylor, R.  2009. Slain and Slandered: A Content Analysis of the Portrayal of Femicide in Crime News. Homicide Studies 13.1: 21-49.

This article explores how victims of femicide are represented in the media. The sample includes 292 articles covering 168 cases of femicide from 1995 to 2000. A content analysis is used to examine how one newspaper in Florida, United States portrays victims of femicide. The author evaluated each article based on a number of factors including language, context, sources, and victim blaming. Findings reveal that female victims are often blamed for their deaths, either directly or indirectly. Examples of methods used to directly blame the victim include describing her using negative language and suggesting that the victim was partly responsible for her death either through her inaction against previous acts of violence or her actions with other men. Victims were blamed indirectly for their deaths by portraying the perpetrator in a sympathetic light, experiencing financial and emotional problems or acting out of character. Victims were also blamed indirectly by describing their character flaws, or any physical or mental health problems they might have had. Additionally, domestic violence was described as the fault of both partners. Results of this research support changes to media practices when reporting on cases of femicide. The author argues that this change in media practices is integral in reducing rates of femicide. As the media shapes public perception and the public guides the direction of policy in communities, it is important that the media present cases of femicide accurately.

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Taylor, R.  2012. The Importance of “Sexual Proprietariness” in Theoretical Framing and Interpretation of Pregnancy-Associated Intimate Partner Violence and Femicide: Through the Eyes of a Junior Scholar. Homicide Studies 16.4: 346-358.

This paper depicts findings from the United States National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS). The author employs the theoretical concept of sexual proprietariness, which suggests that men perceive women as property and feel a sense of ownership over their partners. Through this lens, women are more vulnerable during times of pregnancy because their bodies and actions are not completely under the management of the man. Power and control were included in the study to measure sexual proprietariness. The data used is from a sample of 8000 women in the United States who were surveyed about the violence they have experienced over their lifetime. The sample for this study includes 150 women who had reported victimization by a partner during pregnancy. Of the pregnant women who reported physical abuse, 27 percent also reported stalking. Power and control may heighten during pregnancy and as a result, women may be at an increased risk for physical violence. Findings suggest that women who experience physical violence during pregnancy experience greater levels of control by their intimate partners. These women are also at a greater risk for other types of violence, such as sexual violence.  Wilson and Daly’s work on sexual proprietariness offers a useful explanation as to why women, and in particular pregnant women, may experience violence.  

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Tütüncüler, A., E. Özer, Y.M. Karagöz, and F.Y. Beyaztaş. 2015. Evaluation of Femicide Cases Committed Between the Years 1996-2005 in Antalya. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying 71.2: 198-210.

This study examines femicide in Antalya, Turkey, investigating the contexts and motives behind the murders. The authors aim to create a database for future study. A total of 141 cases of femicide between January 1996 and May 2005 are retrospectively investigated. Data were analyzed using a chi-square test. Results show that most of the victims were between 21 and 35 years of age and married women comprised the highest rate of femicide victims – nearly 38%. Spouse murders typically occurred while in the process of divorce. The study indicates that the top ranking reason for the femicides were partner estrangement. The most common method of killing was use of a firearm and the location of the murder was most frequently the victim’s home. In regards to the criminal histories of the accused, results demonstrate that most had no prior criminal record. This study presents important implications for protection and prevention. Due to the frequency of spousal murders during times of divorce and separation proceedings, the publication suggests strengthening protection laws and establishing rescue homes for women in order to prevent these killings and ensure their security. The study calls for future action to implement these prevention and protection measures into Turkish law and services.

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Vetten, L. 2014. Gendering state accountability in South Africa: Police accountability and the Domestic Violence Act. APCOF 1-16.

This paper investigates South Africa’s Domestic Violence Act (DVA) of 1998, and its implications on the gendered accountability of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The two main areas of accountability within the DVA are public officials’ conduct and the measures in place for holding public officials accountable. The DVA mainly focuses on victim services while the National Instruction 7/1999 and the National Policy Standard for Municipal Police Services Regarding Domestic Violence set out the police’s responsibilities in recording incidents of domestic violence. The paper recognizes the lack of compliance and fulfilment of many of the DVA and National Instruction duties required of the SAPS. Further, the paper highlights a lack of police officer training with regards to the DVA. Police negligence and inaction, for example the failure to arrest an abuser, is found in far too many domestic violence cases. Non-compliance reveals that mechanisms set up by the DVA have not seen tremendous success in their form. The publication indicates that victims of domestic violence could be better protected through a number of changes including: updating and improving case management and recording procedures; organizing monitoring processes; implementing diagonal accountability where citizens have a role in oversight; and creating a case review system for incidents of intimate femicide.

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Watson, J. 2014. Engaging with the State: Lessons learnt from social advocacy on gender-based violence. Agenda 28.2: 58-66.

This study examines advocacy efforts on gender-based violence (GBV) over a five-year time frame in South Africa. The study highlights the failures and some smaller triumphs for State engagement. Using information from civil society organizations, this article evaluates State action in combatting and addressing the problem of GBV. The results show that change has been minimal. During this time period, there have been some improvements made including the implementation of specialized Sexual Offences Courts, Family Violence and Child Protection Units, and a National Council on GBV, along with revisions made to forensic procedures through the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act. In these areas that have shown progress, there is still huge room left for improvement. The study finds that many changes being advocated for 15 years ago are still being advocated for at the time of this publication, pointing to the lack of State accountability. The government has largely failed in implementing policy and legislation meant to enhance women’s status and quality of life. Where policy and legislation does exist, they frequently are not put into practice. The author identifies a significant problem with the State’s attention towards women as victims, rather than how structurally embedded constructions of masculinity and femininity promote this violence. Improvement will only be made once the State begins to address the underlying structural causes of the violence.

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Weil, S. 2016. Making femicide visible. Current Sociology 64.7: 1124-1137.

This paper calls attention to femicide, the invisibility of the issue, and the dearth of sociological research on the topic compared to domestic violence or homicide. The author examines definitions and typologies of femicide and explores seven hypotheses as to why femicide may be an understudied phenomenon. These hypotheses include the violent nature of the crime, femicide as a criminal phenomenon and not within the scope of sociology, the theoretical framework of femicide, traditional male domination of academia, definitional issues, qualitative challenges as subjects are deceased, missing data, and the difficulty in comparing rates cross-nationally. Findings reveal that none of the seven hypotheses examined could explain the deficiency of research. The author argues that femicide must be recognized as a serious social problem. Victims of femicide cannot speak for themselves, so the responsibility falls to others to call attention to the problem. Sociologists should consider femicide a phenomenon worth studying, not only within a feminist framework, but a concern to all, as is homicide. Ways to make femicide more visible are discussed and a variety of methods are suggested including increased media attention and work by NGO’s, increased advocacy, enhanced qualitative research, the development of national femicide databases, and the standardization international measures of femicide.

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Yilmaz, Eyyup., B. Kumral, N. Canturk, Z. Erkol, and A.M. Okumus. 2015. Analysis and comparison of domestic femicide cases in the cities of Diyarbakir & Tekirdag, Turkey: A Preliminary study. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine34: 17-23.

The study analyzes differences in domestic femicide between east and west Turkish cities, one of which still largely follows a traditional patriarchal structure. Case files and court decisions from 2007 to 2012 of domestic femicides in the Criminal High Courts of Diyarbakir and Tekirdag were retrospectively examined. Data were collected on 43 female victims in Diyarbakir and seven female victims in Tekirdag in addition to the socio-demographic, economic, and geographic characteristics of each city. Results indicate that the age distributions of the accused and the victims between the two cities were significantly different. The study finds young age to be a risk factor for both intimate partner femicide victims and perpetrators, as children in Diyarbakir are often forced into committing honour killings by their family. Interestingly, all of the perpetrators in Tekirdag were literate, while 12 from the Diyarbakir sample were illiterate. Firearm injury was the most common killing method in both locations. Judicial outcomes in both cities often involved frequent reductions in sentence length due to unjust provocation, and perpetrator behaviour, remorse, and confession. The authors advocate for prevention policies, services for survivors, education, and strengthened anti-violence laws and policies. Findings additionally suggest the need for assistance for families suffering from unemployment and economic troubles to reduce risk factors of femicide.

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