1st Edition

Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide An Exploration of Coercive Control and Lethality

By Donna J. King Copyright 2024
    340 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    340 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the United States and most parts of the world, law, policy, policing, and prevention work addressing domestic and intimate partner violence is created and enacted based on a violence model. Likewise, it is generally believed that all victims of intimate partner homicide are victims of intimate partner violence, through physical abuse, prior to the incident of homicide, and that this violence is reported beforehand.

    Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide takes a critical look at these misconceived notions and sheds light on multiple non-violent forms of controlling behavior that precipitate intimate partner homicide. The book bases its critical examination on a content analysis of court-filed Petitions for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. Through these records, as well as corresponding police and homicide reports, the accounts of the victims, and their relationships with their offenders, come to life. Recurring coercive control tactics are coded and analyzed across multiple accounts, including intimidation, isolation, and humiliation, to illustrate the ways in which individuals are threatened prior to homicide and the true extent of harm that happens in the absence of physical violence. Considering the victim’s responses, as well as their interaction with law enforcement and the court system prior to their death, the author challenges current legal and policy initiatives made to address and protect victims from intimate partner violence and argues that non-violent controlling behaviors deserve more attention in lethality risk assessments that are utilized throughout the United States.

    For practitioners, advocates, researchers, and students, this book provides an intimate and important account of the causes and consequences of intimate partner violence prior to homicide and a rare window into the victim’s overall experience.

    Introduction  Part I. The Gender Identity of Coercive Control  1. Women’s Rights, Domestic Violence, and Intimate Partner Violence  2. Not all Intimate Partner Violence is Created Equal  3. Asserting the Risk: Understanding an Intimate Partner Violence Victim’s Risk of Death  4. Understanding Intimate Partner Homicide Victims from Their Own Data  Part II. Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide Victims 5. The Torture of Coercive Control  6. The Insidious and Omnipresent Coercive Control  7. When the Intimate Partner Violence Victim Resists the Abuse  8. Physical Violence, the Ultimate in Power and Control?  Part III. Regulating Coercive Control: Lessons from Intimate Partner Violence and Intimate Partner Homicide Data  9. The Frequencies of Coercive Control  10. Coercive Control Legislation and Reimagining Lethality Risk Assessment for Intimate Partner Violence  11. Conclusion  Appendix        



    Donna J. King, Ph.D., J.D., is an IPV survivor and President/Director for Victims’ Safe Harbor Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 social impact organization that provides legal, educational and policy services on domestic violence and child abuse. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Central Florida, where her areas of expertise focused on domestic violence, social inequalities, law and society, gender, and criminology. She also holds a juris doctorate from the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University College of Law and is a Florida licensed attorney in good standing.

    "Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide grew out of Dr. King’s dissertation. It is an important addition to the literature in the area as the depth of research exposes the seriousness of non-violent coercive control tactics and the part they may play as precursors to intimate partner homicide. Non-violent coercive control tactics must be included in the definition and as indicators of intimate partner homicide on lethality risk assessments.

    Whether you are new to the study of intimate partner violence or have researched the area for years, by reading this book like me, you are bound to gain new insights into abusive relationships!"

    Dr. Lin Huff-CorzineEmerita Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Central Florida

    "Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide by Donna King, Ph.D, J.D. is a "must read" for all domestic violence advocates. It's publication coincides with the unrolling of the White House National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence and will contribute substantially to the body of knowledge that will help to end family and intimate partner violence and murder."

    Connie Valentine M.Sco-founder of California Protective Parents Association

    "Systems interacting with targets of coercive controllers have skated along for a half-century, utilizing incomplete, outdated information to build stale practices, policies and laws that have done more to endanger than to help. Family courts, the ultimate gatekeepers for victim safety, are behind decades in utilizing the available obsolete information; lives are being snuffed out in the information gap. 

    Enter, “Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide,” the bible you didn’t know you need, to enumerate just how lethal coercive controllers are. The knowledge gained here is your “know better,” so you can “do better.” Lives everywhere are dependent on you doing just that."

    Kathy JonesCreator of The Maze of Coercive Control, Mother Justice Network

    "Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide is one of the first of its kind to acknowledge and provide data regarding coercive control and its precursors to homicide in Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence is a complex and multidimensional issue and "Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide” brings darkness to light by providing extensive research on how coercive control is more dangerous than often acknowledged. A good read for those working with survivors, as well as those trying to create an understanding of Coercive Control."

    Linda L. Parker, PhD President and CEO of Women In Distress of Broward County