The intersection of firearms and intimate partner homicide in 15 nations

Zeoli, A. M., Malinski, R., & Brenner, H. (2020). The intersection of firearms and intimate partner homicide in 15 nations. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse21(1), 45-56.


Intimate partners commit approximately one in three homicides against women worldwide. Little is known about situational factors that contribute to intimate partner homicides (IPH) and how they may differ across nations. This article provides a cross-national exploration of one situational factor, the use of firearms in the commission of homicides, and considers whether nations have laws designed specifically to keep firearms out of the hands of batterers. We conducted a systematic search of peer-reviewed research and governmental and nongovernmental reports for data on weapon use in IPH. Data were located for 15 nations and subnational areas, which varied from firearms being involved in no IPHs in Fiji to 59% in Antalya, Turkey. Seven nations have legislation that addresses gun ownership as it relates to those who have been charged with, convicted of, or show a propensity toward the commission of intimate partner violence. These laws vary in whether domestic violence is a factor considered in whether to allow firearm ownership or whether it served to disqualify ownership. Due to the small number of nations for which data on weapon use in IPH were located, we did not conduct any hypothesis testing. There is a need for detailed homicide surveillance systems among nations so that researchers can explore the epidemiology of these homicides and ultimately identify opportunities for intervention.


Keywords: and domestic violence; cultural contexts; domestic violence; domestic violence and cultural contexts; homicide.