Pregnant Victims of Intimate Partner Homicide in the National Violent Death Reporting System Database, 2003–2014: A Descriptive Analysis

Penelope K. Morrison, Chelsea Pallatino, Rachel A. Fusco, Tanya Kenkre, Judy Chang, Elizabeth E. Krans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Intimate partner homicide (IPH) is a leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States. However, very little information exists as to the circumstantial factors associated with IPH during pregnancy. We conducted a descriptive study of the demographic characteristics, psychosocial service engagement, and crises experiences (i.e., life and relationship stressors) among pregnant and nonpregnant victims to understand what differences, if any, exist in their risk profile for IPH. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) were used for this study. The NVDRS is a national opt-in tracking system of all violent deaths in the United States. Pregnant victims (N = 293) were significantly more likely to be 5 years younger than nonpregnant victims, African American, and never married. Pregnant victims were more likely to be seen in the emergency room following the fatal incident. Nonpregnant victims (N = 2,089) were significantly more likely to have suspected alcohol use at the time of their death. In strictly proportional terms, we also observed higher rates of mental health problems, a history of mental health treatment, and a reported history of intimate partner violence (IPV), crisis, or family problems among nonpregnant victims. A wider range of IPH-related risk factors (e.g. substance abuse) need to be included IPV assessments. Future studies should seek to develop effective interventions to prevent IPH, particularly among reproductive aged women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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