Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Peter Jaffe


Domestic violence is a global issue extending across regional, cultural, and social boundaries. In 2017, 137 women across the world were killed everyday by intimate partners or relatives. By far, women over-represent victims of domestic violence and domestic homicide across time. Although disproportionate, equally concerning is the issue of violence against men. Researchers have started to question whether the risk factors related to male and female’s use of violence is gendered, however no clear consensus has been reached. A retrospective case analysis was completed using domestic homicide cases reviewed by the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee based in Ontario, Canada. Statistical analyses compared male and female perpetrators of domestic homicide on a number of risk factors. A major finding was female perpetrators’ were more likely to have been prior victims of the men they killed. Male victims were also less likely to be in the process of separation compared to female victims. In addition, there was a high rate of substance abuse among female perpetrators of domestic homicide. Female perpetrators were nearly twice as likely to use excessive drugs and or alcohol compared to male perpetrators. This study demonstrates the need for future research into the area of addictions and its role among female perpetrators of domestic homicide. Overall this study highlights the different risk factors between male and female perpetrators of domestic homicide for the purpose of determining appropriate preventive factors, interventions, and for painting an overall picture of violence perpetrated by males and females.