Intimate Partner Homicide in Chicago, Updated

Carolyn Rebecca Block, Illinois Crim Justice Info Authority

A 1995 Crime and Delinquency article, "Intimate Partner Homicide in Chicago Over 29 Years," described high rates of suicide for men homicide offenders, long-term declines in liquor-use homicides and in victimization rates for men and women, an apparent increase in death rates for Latina women, similarities between men victims and men offenders in their arrest history and evidence that leaving the relationship was a risk factor for the women victims. The Chicago Women's Health Risk Study has now gathered detailed data on all intimate partner homicides that occured in Chicago in 1995 and 1996, including poxy interviews of people who knew the couple before the homicide. The CWHRS also has comparable non-lethal data, from detailed longitudinal interviews with 500 abused and 200 comparison women. This unique resources contains a wealth of information about the risk of an intimate violence incident becoming fatal. The present study draws upon both datasets. It first extends the "Chicago Intimate Partner Homicide" dataset to 31 years, from 1965 to 1996, and discusses whether the patterns and trends noted in the 29-year time series continued through 1996. Second, it discusses the key findings of the CWHRS in light of trends over 31 years. Third, it uses the detailed and extensive CWHRS data to place the police-level Chicago Homicide Dataset trends in perspective and to examine implications for public policy.

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Updated 05/20/2006