Most Australian women who become homicide victims are killed by current or former intimate partners and a new Griffith University study aims to find out why.

“Each year in Australia about 100 females become victims of lethal violence,’’ saysProfessor Paul Mazerolle, Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor (Arts, Education & Law) and Director of theViolence Research and Prevention program.

Two out of three of those victims are killed by a current or former intimate partner. In contrast just one in 10 (or fewer) male homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.

Researchers will undertake in-depth interviews with families and friends of 20 deceased women to gather comprehensive information about victims of Intimate Partner Femicide.

They also want to speak with family and friends of women who have experienced non-lethal violence from partners or former intimate partners.

“We know that many victims of intimate partner femicide previously experienced non-lethal intimate partner violence but we do not fully understand why some women who experience violence are killed while others are not,’’ Professor Mazerolle said.

“It is important to develop insights into the range of circumstances and factors that may have contributed to women’s risk and victimisation or may have reduced their ability to access support and safety.

“Improved victim-focussed knowledge can help identify the barriers women face and the shortcomings of system responses they may call upon.”

The study is supported by a grant from the Commonwealth of Australia through the Criminology Research Grant.