• Anna Bernsen Jakobsen

This qualitative thesis seeks to identify the danger signs that precede an attempted homicide in an intimate relationship. A literature review focused on Nordic studies shows that the term risk factor is typically used in connection with quantitative research, which is why the term danger signs will be used in this project.
The collected data for this thesis consists of five qualitative interviews with women who have survived an attempted homicide committed by their intimate partner. Subsequent to the data collection, the interview transcripts have been subject to an inductive coding process which included the use of thematic narrative analysis. The data processing resulted in the identification of several danger signs in the course of events leading up to the attempted homicides.
Violence was found to be a significant danger sign. The informants spoke of being subject to psychological violence at the beginning of the relationship, in the form of e.g. social control, stalking, threats, manipulation and jealousy. As the psychological violence intensified over time, physical violence was additionally introduced in the relationships. Furthermore, it was found that other significant danger signs include low self-esteem within the informants, isolation from the surrounding world as well as feelings of shame, guilt and/or self-blame. The homicide attempts covered within this thesis have overarchingly taken place in connection with the informants initiating to terminate the relationship with their abuser.
The discussion is centered around routine activity theory and feminist criminology. The founders of routine activity theory originally argued that public spaces were more dangerous compared to private homes since the convergence of a suitable target and a motivated offender in the absence of a capable guardian is more likely to happen here. However, it is concluded on the basis of the analysis that the informants were more likely to be subject to violence in the privacy of their own home, since there was no one to intervene. Furthermore, it was found that friends and family can assume the role of capable guardians if they are made aware of the violence and are able or willing to intervene.
Control plays a significant role when it comes to intimate partner violence. Feminist criminology argues that in a patriarchal society, men possess the power and control over women. This is seen time and again in the analysis where the abusers of the informants obtain control over them, for example by controlling their behavior, with whom they socialize, and what they do.
Publication date30 Jun 2017
Number of pages57
ID: 472260966