Disturbingly, nearly three women in the U.S. fall victim to an intimate partner's violence every day. Similar to the tragic case of Aszia Johnson, a significant number of women in the U.S. are killed by men they know, most often by current or former intimate partners. In 2018, a staggering 92% of intimate partner female homicides involved the victim being killed by a man they knew, and 63% were murdered by current or former husbands, boyfriends, or ex-husbands.
Because They’re Women: Unveiling the Motive
These alarming statistics paint a disturbing picture of the underlying misogyny fueling these violent deaths. Across the U.S. and the world, women are losing their lives simply because they are women. The grim reality of femicide forces us to confront the deep-seated issues of gender-based violence and the urgent need for change.
The 8-Step Timeline: Understanding Domestic Homicides
In the midst of an escalating issue, the concept of the 8-step timeline provides a crucial framework to comprehend domestic abuse homicides. Dr. Jane Monckton Smith's groundbreaking research revealed eight distinct stages that often precede these tragic events. These stages are:
1. A pre-relationship history of stalking or abuse by the perpetrator
2. Rapid development of a serious relationship
3. Relationship domination through coercive control
4. A triggering event threatening the perpetrator's control
5. Escalation of control tactics, like stalking or threats
6. A change in the perpetrator's thinking towards revenge or homicide
7. Planning, including acquiring weapons or seeking opportunities
8. The final act of homicide, potentially harming others as well
Understanding the importance of this timeline empowers law enforcement and support organizations to recognize potential cases and allocate resources accordingly. This knowledge can also aid victims in articulating their situations and seeking help.
Dispelling Myths and Moving Forward
Addressing the issue of femicide requires dispelling common misconceptions. The 8-step timeline challenges several myths surrounding domestic abuse:
1. The idea that leaving an abusive partner guarantees safety.
2. The belief that domestic homicides stem from a loss of control.
3. The notion that only physical violence indicates severe abuse.
By understanding the true dynamics of domestic abuse and its progression, we can better support victims and develop effective prevention strategies.
So she’s not leaving because she’s not sick and tired enough of being sick and tired, right? Wrong.
Femicide is a grave reality. The United States' alarming femicide statistics underscore the urgent need for change, while the 8-step timeline sheds light on the complex dynamics preceding domestic homicides. Put this together with the Strong Black Woman trope Black women are forced by society and our own communities to carry until the weight crushes us, and you have a recipe for death by DV - or by a secondary byproduct of DV instead. By dispelling myths and recognizing the impact of external factors, we can start to #changethenarrative.