Adolescent Intimate Partner Femicide: An Exploratory Study

The study identified risk factors for young adult intimate partner femicide. Secondary analysis of proxies of 23 young adult (ages 18-20 years) femicide victims identified from police or medical examiner records in 11 U.S. cities were interviewed using the Danger Assessment Scale. The femicide cases were compared with 53 abused young women (ages 18-20). Risk factors for young adult intimate partner femicide differ from their abused counterparts. More hostile violence, threats, unemployment, access to a gun, controlling activities, and having a nonbiological child of the abusive partner placed young adult women at higher risk for murder. Risk factors in younger femicides identified are consistent with risk factors identified in cases of femicides in older adult women. Although consistent, jealousy and controlling behaviors, partner unemployment, and perpetrator being an ex-partner appear to have increased importance for younger women. A validated lethality assessment, such as the Danger Assessment, may be useful to identify risk factors for lethal violence in young adult intimate partner violence.