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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-81

Psychosocial background of female and male convicted of Intimate Partner Homicide

1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Ministry of Health, Abbasia Hospital for Mental Health, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD Psychiatry Shaimaa M Arafa
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al-Azhar University, 161 B Gardinia, Alahram Garden, Giza Governatev, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_42_19

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Background Homicide is an important cause of premature mortality globally, but evidence for the magnitude of homicides by intimate partners is scarce and hampered by the large amount of missing information about the victim–offender relationship. Intimate partner violence is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. Violence between intimate partners ranges from verbal abuse to physical violence, with lethal outcome at the far end of the spectrum. The term ‘intimate partner violence’ describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. Partner homicide differs from other form of mass murder in that the murder kills a family member who is a loved one rather than an anonymous person. Aim To identify sociodemographic and criminological characteristics in perpetrators of intimate partner homicide (IPH); to identify personality traits of those who commit IPH; to identify to what extent IPH experienced mental illness and mental disorder, before or in connection to the offense; and to investigate the associated risk factors to commit homicide of an intimate partner, such as substance use. Patient recruitment After taking a written approval from Al-Azhar University Faculty of Medicine Ethical Committee and from Ministry of Health General Secretariat of Mental Health Training Department and an oral consent from the offenders, a sample was taken of all male (35) and female (two) individuals, aged 18 years or older, who were convicted of homicide of their intimate partner. These were new admitted cases who were evaluated after being referred from public prosecutor to check for the mental state of the offenders. Methods Each offender was subjected to the following: (a) clinical psychiatric assessment, (b) Homicide Questionnaire, (c) standardized psychiatric assessment by Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview PLUS, and (d) standardized psychological assessment by Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised, Wechsler adult intelligence scale, and the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test. Results The result revealed that sex is a risk factor for partner homicide, as of 37 offenders, only two were females compared with 35 males. Abusive parent and violence within the family were the most common risk factors inside the families. Overall, 51.4% of IPH offenders were highly educated, with significant relation between educational level and the crime, and most of them were employed at the time of crime. Of the sample, 32.4% were diagnosed as having antisocial personality disorder, 67.6% schizophrenia, and 32.4% mood disorders. Moreover, 29.7% had a past history of previous admission in a psychiatric hospital, and 40.5% were taking psychiatric medication. All offenders are tobacco smokers, and the most common substances used were cannabis, then opioid and sedative, and the least was alcohol beverages. Sharp instruments were the most common weapon used by the offenders, and the crime usually was done at night.

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