Family and Intimate Partner Homicide Surveillance

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Domestic violence is a pervasive public health issue, and collecting accurate information regarding this problem is essential for the overall health and well-being of a community. One approach for understanding domestic violence is through the data collected by the Family and Intimate Partner Homicide Surveillance Project. This project is conducted through the Virginia Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and collects information on all domestic violence related homicide in the state of Virginia. The information gathered for this project provides policy makers, community groups, and the general public with the knowledge needed to understand the circumstances and magnitude of domestic violence in their communities. With this data, stakeholders also have the ability to track changes, identify trends over time, identify at-risk populations, and develop evidence-based interventions.

Since the beginning of the project in 1999, what have we learned?

  • Over one-third of homicides occurring in Virginia are related to domestic violence.
  • Both men and women are victims of domestic violence. Women are likely to be killed at the hands of an intimate partner, while men are more likely to be killed as a bystander or in an altercation over an intimate partner.
  • Over half of FIP homicides involve a firearm (62%), and just over 80% of homicides occurred within a residence.
  • Approximately 40% of all intimate partner homicides occur while or after a relationship is ending.
  • Of all intimate partner related homicide events, over one-fifth are homicide-suicide events.

We can assist with data requests and are available to make presentations in your community.

To Contact Us:

Tricia Smith, MPH
Family Violence Programs Manager
Division of Death Prevention
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
400 E. Jackson St
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 546-1023