Femicide in Australia: An Analysis of Patterns of Victim/Offender Relationships

Damon Muller, University of Melbourne

This paper draws upon an ongoing investigation of femicide in Victoria, Australia. It reviews traditional conceptions of victim/offender relationships, and suggests that most of these are inadequate to the task of capturing the richly textured patterns found in the present data. The basic problem of most schemes is that they are fundamentally atheoretical, and therefore contribute little to an understanding of the scenarios observed. While a common pattern of women killing consists of violence perpetrated by jealous and/or controlling male sexual partners, in fact there are other patterns in the present research that also deserve careful attention. The paper suggests that while gender is an important feature of lethal violence, analysis must recgonise the complexity of scenarios that will be found in investigations such as this one.

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Updated 05/20/2006