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Master of Arts




Jaffe, Peter

2nd Supervisor

Chiodo, Deb



The purpose of the current study was to examine factors associated with domestic homicides perpetrated by members of the Canadian and United States military. Through the analysis of (n=16) media reports on high-profile domestic homicide cases involving (n=21) members of the Canadian and US military, the present study examined factors such as: mental illness, lack of help seeking, availability of services and the military culture. Qualitative analysis indicated several factors that are believed to have influenced the homicides within the cases. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the military culture were found to be factors. The Social Ecological Model and Cultural Spillover Theory were used to frame the current study to acknowledge how the perpetrators were influenced by their social and professional environments. Implications for prevention and intervention include better access to mental health services as well as education on domestic violence provided to members of the military and their families.

Summary for Lay Audience

This thesis examines factors present within domestic homicides perpetrated by members of the Canadian and United States military. Sixteen media articles taken from Google News were thoroughly analyzed for themes related to: mental illness, accessibility of services, available services, and the military culture. Results from the qualitative analysis show that mental illness, and in particular, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as the military culture (stressful environment, dangerous environment, deployments) were identified as factors in several of the domestic homicides that had taken place. Since the study only focused on perpetrators of the homicides, future research is recommended on safety planning for the victims of military domestic violence. Lessening wait times for military members who seek help for mental illness concerns should be made a priority. Education on the warning signs of domestic violence should also be made more easily accessible and available to both military members as well as their families.