Adolescent Dating Violence - Chapter 8: Youth Dating Violence and Homicide

Elsevier, Adolescent Dating Violence: Theory, Research, and Prevention, 2018, Pages 191-214
Peter Jaffe, Jordan Fairbairn, Kayla Sapardanis

Dating violence is increasingly recognized as a public health problem causing serious psychological and physical harm to victims. According to the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2013), approximately 10% of high-school students have experienced physical violence in their dating relationships, and 10% also reported sexual violence. Among female Canadian college students, 79% report psychological violence from a dating partner, 27% have experienced sexual violence, and 22% report physical violence. In extreme cases, dating violence turns lethal in the form of a homicide or homicide suicide. The overlapping groups of adolescents (13–18 years) and emerging adults (15–24 years) are at the highest risk for these outcomes. Yet there is not a great deal of literature that specifically considers dating violence and its links to homicide. This chapter reviews existing research on homicides in the context of dating, which has been informed by the emergence of domestic violence fatality review teams in the United States, Canada, the New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. These reviews provide valuable insights into the prevention of these tragedies through professional and public awareness as well as enhanced risk assessment, safety planning, and risk management. We begin by reviewing youth dating violence definitions and discussing current studies on the incidence of dating violence and its links to homicide. We then consider youth dating homicides based on the work of domestic violence death review committees and identify recommendations from individual cases and overall patterns of findings from these deaths.