Session: Intimate Partner Homicide Risk Research: Current Approaches to Inquiry and Future Directions (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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271 Intimate Partner Homicide Risk Research: Current Approaches to Inquiry and Future Directions

Friday, January 22, 2021: 5:00 PM-6:00 PM
Cluster: Violence against Women and Children
Rebecca Macy, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jill Messing, MSW, PhD, Arizona State University, Laurie Graham, PhD, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Millan AbiNader, PhD LMSW, Arizona State University and Megan Lindsay Brown, PhD, Arizona State University
In the U.S., 40-50% of female homicide victims, and 5-8% of male homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner (Fridel & Fox, 2019; Jack et al., 2018). Research indicates that in the majority of IPHs, intimate partner violence (IPV) was present prior to the homicide, and many victims interacted with law enforcement, the court system, health care providers, or other service providers before their death. Such findings indicate that there are intervention opportunities within these systems to prevent IPV from escalating to homicide. In particular, social workers in criminal justice, healthcare, and victim services settings may be well placed within these systems to intervene to help prevent IPH. However, there is a dearth of evidence-based practices and policies to guide IPH prevention. Accordingly, social work research can help advance knowledge concerning IPH prevention considerably by identifying IPH risk and protective factors, and in turn, guide the development of effective prevention strategies. As such, the aims of this roundtable are for participants to (1) increase their understanding of data and various methodological approaches available to examine the escalation of IPV to homicide; and (2) learn ways to contribute to IPH research given the great potential of social work researchers to lead the development of IPH prevention strategies and related research.

Roundtable presenters will draw on their extensive backgrounds investigating IPH to present on existing data sources and methodologies and outline avenues for future research. National homicide datasets, such as the National Violent Death Reporting System and the Uniform Crime Report-Supplementary Homicide Report, tend to misclassify intimate partner relationships and have limited usefulness for studying subpopulations who are at increased risk of homicide, a particularly important limitation given that research indicates IPH may disproportionately impact under-served and marginalized groups. Presenters will discuss the pros and cons of each dataset, including opportunities for linking multiple violent death incidents like homicide-suicides. Community-level data, such as records from departments of public health, police departments, and medical examiner’s or prosecutor’s offices may provide more in-depth opportunities for data collection but also have limitations. Given potential increases in IPH and homicide-suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic, presenters will emphasize the implications of using various data collection and analytic techniques to examine particular time periods and events. Additionally, presenters will consider novel data collection methods that investigate relationship histories, such as examining the victim’s and perpetrator’s social media activities, and offer strategies for interviewing knowledgeable proxy informants. Finally, presenters will discuss analytic approaches to examining these data sources, including multilevel modeling, spatial analyses, and content analysis.

Collecting and analyzing accurate data can assist in the development of strategies and policies to prevent IPH. Presenters will draw from their experience, also encouraging active participation from audience members in discussions regarding their experiences studying IPV and IPH, to highlight practice applications of the information presented. The roundtable will culminate in a conversation about future directions for IPH research and how social work researchers can take a lead role in the development and evaluation of IPH prevention strategies.

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