Am I in a lethal relationship/situation?

stop-domestic-violenceInformation about lethal relationships and questions to assess your situation.


Are You In A Highly Lethal Relationship?

Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges (National Institute of Justice, June 2009).

Risk factors that help determine if the abuser will kill the victim. The list below is a combined list from various resources.

__  Threats by the abuser to kill the victim, children or self

__  Fantasies of homicide or suicide

__   Accessibility to weapons

__   A high familiarity with or the use of guns

__   A fundamental belief by the abuser that the victim is owned by the abuser

__   Separation (greatly increase risk)

__   Abuser is obsessive about victim/family and can’t live without them

__   Mental disorders, especially depression, a sense of no hope without homicide and/or suicide

__  Repeated calls to the police and an increase in violence

__  Takes the victim and/or family hostage

__  An increase in the frequency of the cycle of violence, with police involvement in the prior year

__  An increase in the severity of injuries inflicted, with the victim possibly needing medical treatment

__  Abuser used a weapon in prior incidents

__   Abuser caused life-threatening injury in prior incidents

__  Abuser has threatened to use weapons against the victim

__  Abuser has either threatened to or has killed or maimed pets

__  Abuser has raped the victim

__  Abuser beat the victim while she was pregnant

__  Abuser physically abused a child

__  Victim has threatened to commit suicide

__ Recent unwanted separation where the victim obtained an abuse order or filed for divorce

__  Change in custody arrangements and the abuser has limited access to children and partner

__ Victim has entered a new relationship

__ Recent symbolic violence (destroying family pictures, marriage license or other property)


Surviving Lethal Domestic Violence


Surviving lethal domestic violence may be the most heroic thing you do in your lifetime. Everyone should know the signs of possible lethal domestic violence that are common in most lethal situations. Domestic violence can turn lethal without any signs. This list should not be used as a measurement of your situation. If you are suffering from domestic violence, there is no reason to wait for these signs before getting out.

The below list is a culmination of common factors, or indicators from victims murdered by their previous, or current intimate partners compiled over the last two (2) decades by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women . I highly recommend reading through this report. It is sobering and heartbreaking at the same time.

Signs of Possible Lethal Domestic Violence

Extreme Jealousy
Control of Daily Activities
Forced Sex
Separation – It’s not over because you leave.
Lengthy History of Domestic Violence/Violence
Pregnancy – Domestic Violence increases during pregnancy!
Threats/Fantasies of Suicide
Threats/Fantasies of Homicide
Access To Firearm/Weapons
Threats To Use A Weapon
Attempted Strangulation

Domestic violence is not an accident. It does not go away because your intimate partner cries, begs forgiveness, and promises it won’t happen again. Domestic violence must be taken very seriously as it could cost your life and possibly the lives of those you love. If you have seen any of these signs of possible lethal domestic violence in your relationship, move forward with caution to protect yourself and those you love. Let’s honor the previous victims of domestic violence by learning from them… not joining them.

If you are experiencing any of these signs of possible lethal domestic violence, this season in your life doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Please treat this situation with the seriousness it demands and be careful!


Lethal Relationship Assessment


How to Leave a Violent Relationship