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What are some predictors of domestic violence deaths?

While domestic violence is always a serious issue, some forms of physical abuse are a larger cause for concern. This led to the development of a domestic violence lethality checklist, which is intended to help law enforcement identify abuse victims who face a greater risk of homicide by their romantic partners. CBS News reports on this checklist so you can identify any potentially lethal patterns within your own relationship. 

Choking is a major indicator of intimate partner homicide. In fact, women who've been choked by husbands or boyfriends are 10 times more likely to die at the hands of these same men. Past assaults involving choking is just one of the many questions featured on the checklist, which was developed by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. The checklist also inquires about any weapons that may have been used during assaults, or if threats involving a weapon are a feature of the relationship.

Domestic violence victims are also asked about control. While not implicitly violent, partners that attempt to control their spouse during the course of the day, such as by limiting activities or demanding that their spouse frequently check-in, is also a red flag for law enforcement. The same can be said of jealous behavior. Abusive partners are often irrationally jealous, to the point where their partners may cut off all other relationships out of fear. 

Stalking behaviors, recent separations/divorces, and violence towards children are also touched on. It's important for those who are being abused to have access to the proper resources so they can make a safe break from the person threatening to do them harm. If you have concerns about your relationship, contact an attorney to discuss options regarding divorce or orders of protection. You can also seek support from friends and family, who can offer a safe place to stay until the situation is resolved. 

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