BC Coroners Service statistics on domestic violence homicides

The average number of persons who died each year from intimate partner violence is 13.9

BC Coroners Service

VICTORIA – The BC Coroners Service has made public a report examining the number of homicides resulting from intimate partner violence (IPV) over the past decade.

The statistics cover the period from Jan. 1, 2004, through Dec. 15, 2014.

They show that throughout that time period, the average number of persons who died each year from intimate partner violence is 13.9. For the current year to date, the number is 14. About three-quarters of the victims were female.

An IPV death is defined as one in which the death occurred as a result of injuries inflicted by a current or former intimate partner (spouse, whether married or common-law, or dating partner), or the death occurred during an incident where a current or former intimate partner was the intended victim.

Deaths which occur as the result of injuries caused by other family members (e.g. parents, children, siblings) that are not related to intimate partner violence are not included.

The report also covers only IPV homicides, not suicides that occur in the context of IPV homicide-suicide cases.

Over the period, the number of homicides ranged from a high of 23 in 2008 to a low of seven in 2013. The BC Coroners Service also notes that small numbers of cases, such as these, can magnify random effects and give the appearance of substantial variation where the difference can be attributed to a normally expected random variation.

The full report can be found at: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/coroners/reports/docs/IntimatePartnerViolence.pdf