Each International Women’s Day, we celebrate women’s cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements. At least one day a year, the focus is on the women’s rights movement, raising issues like gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
Even though there is undeniable progress in some areas, the numbers are still demoralising. Especially when it comes to violence against women.
Psycho-criminological research provides evidence that violence can happen across cultures, sexes, and societies. Yet, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is far from rare in contemporary society, and it usually involves women as victims.
“Intimate Partner Violence and its Escalation Into Femicide. Frailty thy Name Is “Violence Against Women”” - https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01777/full is an insightful study that aims to analyse the violence against women and its escalation up to the point in which it aggravates into femicide.
The focus is on 275 women killed in Turin, between 1970 and 2016, by a male whom they were involved with in a more or less intimate relationship.
This research aimed to answer two questions: “Is murder the worst possible scenario of a long-lasting abusive relationship? Are we witnessing a shift in how violence now happens, becoming perhaps less striking than murder, but not less painful from the victim’s point of view?”
These findings show that escalation into femicide was more likely when the victim and perpetrator were in an intimate and affective relationship. When the perpetrator knew the victim, an excessive killing or overkilling was more likely to happen.
This study’s results also suggest that motives behind intimate partner femicide could account for a differential degree of violence. In cases where the victim and perpetrator had a longer and closer relationship, the risk of IPV escalating into femicide and the femicide being executed with extreme and severe force was higher.