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ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and Murder-Suicides

Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and Murder-Suicides

by Katherine van Wormer, Albert R. RobertsKatherine van Wormer


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Each year, about 33 percent of all women and 3 percent of all men murdered in the United States, are killed by a so-called intimate, a spouse, partner, or lover. Nationwide, murder by an intimate is the number one cause of death for pregnant women. And murder by an intimate is not just an American problem. A European task force recently found domestic violence accounts for 25 percent of all homicides in London, and 35 percent across England and Wales. In this timely book, van Wormer and Roberts describe the problem, and what they have seen and heard on the front lines with both women and men who have escaped domestic violence that was escalating toward deadly levels. The text examines not only the psychology of the batterer but of domestic murder, and domestic murder-suicide. Drawn from the experience and insights of these two widely-known social workers, the text includes a safety plan for those at risk and a chapter providing narratives of women in prison for killing their abusive husband or partner.

Drawing on the experience and insights of these two widely-known social workers, Death by Domestic Violence separates domestic violence myths and facts, explains the traumatic bonding that occurs between batterer and victim, and details how one facet of the solution could be school-based interventions and education. The book culminates with recommendations for further reduction of harm and a safety plan for those at risk.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313354892
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/30/2008
Series: Social and Psychological Issues: Challenges and Solutions Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

KATHERINE VAN WORMER is Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa. She is a member of the Editorial Board for several scholarly journals, including Victims and Offenders, Families in Society and the Journal of Comparative Social Welfare. Van Wormer has authored or co-authored 13 earlier books.

The late Albert R. Roberts was a widely known Professor of Social Work and Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. Also Series Editor for the Praeger series, Social and Psychologial Problems and Solutions, he was Founding and acting Editor-in-Chief of the journal Brief Treatments and Crisis Intervention, as well as Victims and Offenders. He authored or edited 32 earlier books.

Table of Contents


1. Women and Families at Risk: An Overview

2. Risk Factors for Domestic Homicide

3. The Dynamics of Murder-Suicide in Domestic Situations

4. The Role of Alcohol and Other Drugs in Domestic Homicide

Katherine van Wormer, Alissa Mallow, and Kelly Ward

5. Issues of Power and Control in the Death of a Loved One

Kelly Ward and Carolyn Bradley

6. Portraits of Life in the Aftermath of Domestic Homicide

Marilyn Armour

7. Domestic Homicide Worldwide

Katherine van Wormer and Woochan Shim

8. Response of the U.S. Criminal Justice System

9. Personal Narratives of Women in Prison for Partner Homicide

10. Safety Plans for the Prevention of Intimate Homicide

11. Work with Dangerous Battering Men

What People are Saying About This

Patricia Brownell

"This is an important addition to the scholarship on intimate partner and familial abuse that results in fatalities: both in the murder of victims and suicide of perpetrators. It provides a comprehensive overview of the literature and research on life threatening abuse, risk factors in abuse situations leading to fatalities, and the dynamics underlying murder-suicide domestic situations."

David Adams

"Death By Domestic Violence is very useful one-stop compendium of theoretical and practical information regarding intimate partner homicide. Here, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; the authors do a terrific job of integrating information and analysis from a wide variety of sources in a manner that is as readable as it is illuminating."

Rob O'Dell

"Death by Domestic Violence creates a detailed profile of those most likely to batter women and victims who are at high risk of abuse. The preventive measures that serve as a guide for families and social service professionals to help fight this scourge are a public service."

June Keeling

"Death by Domestic Violence is a leading contribution in the search for knowledge. An international perspective affords this excellent book worldwide recognition in dealing with this tragedy."

Customer Reviews