Intimate Partner Violence: The Facts

Intimate Partner Violence: The Facts

Recently a friend of mine was killed in a murder-suicide by her husband. They were in the middle of what everyone thought was an amicable divorce. Not once did she ever tell her friends or her family that she had been in any way abused by her husband or that she was scared for her life or the lives of her children. In the minds of her family and friends this violent act came out of nowhere; however, research will tell us this is not the case. There were warning signs that could have saved her life had she been aware.

Here are some awakening facts. (I am only going to talk about statistics involving women, but intimate partner violence (IPV) affects both sexes in both straight and gay relationships.)

Murder/Suicide Facts

Commonalities of Perpetrators

  • Jealousy
  • Substance abuse (drugs and/or alcohol)
  • Possession of a firearm
  • Depression/suicidal ideation of abuser
  • Materially motivated (wealth/lifestyle retention – fear of loss of image/assets/status due to divorce)
  • Prior history of violence
  • Less fear of legal consequences
  • Desperation
  • Family history of domestic violence exposure in childhood

Warning Signs

  • Prior domestic violence in the relationship
  • Depression/suicidal ideation
  • Recent break up of relationship
  • Recent protective order/restraining order
  • Firearms available
  • Sudden loss of interest in things that once made your partner happy, like others, social media, responsibilities, hobbies, etc.

What can I do for myself?

  • Contact your local shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis. WomensLaw.org has state by state legal information.
  • Prepare a safety plan with the help of a professional organization or professional counselor.
  • Remove weapons from the household.
  • Take pictures of injuries, keep a journal of violent events, see a doctor to treat injuries.
  • Set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you.
  • File for a protective order/restraining order, but know this is only a piece of paper and the danger is still present.
  • Leave the situation first, get to a safe, secret location, then tell your partner.

What can I do for my friends?

  • Help them develop a safety plan.
  • Remove weapons from the household.
  • Encourage them to talk to professionals who can provide help and guidance.
  • Remember that you cannot “rescue” them.

Resources for More Information

The statistics are staggering, and while we continue to train women to protect themselves based on stranger violence outside the home, we must educate them on the dangers of sleeping with the enemy.


Related Articles:
Intimate Partner Violence: Warning Signs
Intimate Partner Violence: Training for the Unthinkable


Sandra Kozero is an NRA certified pistol and rifle instructor, along with being an NRA Level 1 Shotgun Coach. She teaches Home Firearm Safety, Personal Protection in the Home, Refuse to Be a Victim and the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program. Sandy has been shooting with the San Antonio TX Chapter of A Girl & A Gun since 2011. She also dabbles in competitive shooting. She is not only the San Antonio Chapter Facilitator, but she also serves as an AG & AG National Regional Director.

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