Zappaterreno, Chiara (2022) Intimate Partner Homicide in Italy. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.
Abstract

Intimate Partner Homicide (IPH), the murder of a current or former intimate partner, has been given an increasing amount of focus in terms of research and policy. However, in Italy, there is a lack of specialised research on it, despite continued increases in its prevalence. The present study aims to increase the understanding of this phenomenon within the unique cultural context that Italy provides. The aims were: (1) to determine whether characteristics and risk factors of IPH in Italy accord with those identified in other countries; (2) to explore how contextual factors affect the nature and characteristics of IPH in Italy, and; (3) to evaluate whether practitioners working with IPV victims and risk assessment are assessing IPH risk in Italy appropriately.

To address the aims of this research, data was collected from open sources on 400 Italian cases of IPH. In addition, a questionnaire was utilised to gather the perceptions of practitioners (N=118) working in organisations that deal with domestic violence in Italy. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, Smallest Space Analysis, and Chi-square tests.

This study identified significant differences in the nature and characteristics of the Italian sample compared to previous samples gathered in different countries, particularly in terms of demographic characteristics, methods, and motives. These differences are possibly influenced by contextual factors. Risk assessments appear to include factors that are not found to be relevant in the Italian context and exclude others that frequently occur. Based on the answers to the questionnaire, it seems that practitioners tend to assess risk based on existing studies, rather than their experience of Italian cases.

Findings have notable implications, both in terms of contributing to the evidence base around IPH, and for informing preventative efforts, including in the development of risk assessment tools and practices tailored to the Italian context. Limitations and avenues for future research are discussed.

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