Drawing the line between domestic violence and murder

It goes without saying that domestic violence can lead to murder in California. Sometimes the act is intentional. A deranged person may set out to murder their romantic partner after being rejected or because they feel jealous. Similarly, an abused person may decide to murder their abusers to defend themselves. Other times, the killing is unintentional and follows the use of accidental excessive force. 

PBS reports that in the past decade, 46 percent of the women who were killed in America died at the hands of a former or current romantic partner. What is even more disturbing is how many of these instances were preventable. After looking at data from almost 50 of America’s biggest cities, researchers learned that the men who were implicated for killing their past or current partners were known to be a threat in more than a third of the cases. 

Here are some of the main indicators based on past behavior: 

  • Conviction-related to domestic violence 
  • Conviction-related to any other type of violence crime 
  • Previous instance of a restraining order issued against them 

According to The Atlantic, the CDC conducted a similar study for the time period of 2003 to 2014 and found that 55 percent of women who were killed were murdered by a current or past romantic partner. The study also found that 54% of these women were killed by guns and that 15% of them were pregnant at the time. 

Thus, the sad irony is that this implies 46 percent might actually be an improvement. Still, there is no denying that there are far too many lives lost to domestic violence. To add to this, children are often not only the unborn casualties in these instances but living witnesses and even living victims themselves.