Lethality Risk Factors Series: Recent Separation

February 9, 2024 | By Kathryn Spearman, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Recent separation is a critical lethality risk factor for intimate partner homicide as perpetrators often sense a potential loss of control over their partner, increasing the likelihood of violent retaliation against the separated partner. The period of post-separation is marked by increased danger, as it may intensify the perpetrator’s feelings of rejection and contribute to a volatile and potentially lethal situation. This is part 3 of the DV RISC Lethality Risk Factors Webinar Series which highlights the research behind recent separation as a lethality risk factor, identifies how recent separation is addressed in specific intimate partner violence (IPV) risk assessments, and recognizes practical steps that can be taken once it is flagged on a risk assessment.


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