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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Arizona State University
  • Jill Messing
  • (602) 496-1193
  • Millan A AbiNader
  • Jesenia M Pizarro-Terrill
Award Date:06/15/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 247,220
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 247,220
  • FY 2021=$247,220
Start Date:07/01/2021
End Date:06/30/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:The Effects of COVID-19 on Intimate Partner Homicide Incidence and Risk
Federal Award ID Number:2116974
DUNS ID:943360412
Parent DUNS ID:806345658
Program:Law & Science
Program Officer:
  • Reggie Sheehan
  • (703) 292-5389

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:09

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Arizona State University
Street:411 N Central Ave
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

In addition to the great physical risk posed by COVID-19, the pandemic rapidly transformed our social world. In March 2020, in an effort to curb virus spread, U.S. jurisdictions began to issue stay-at-home policies that asked individuals with non-essential jobs to shelter in place. Although the intent of this effort was to decrease the virus' spread, it may have also resulted in increased exposure to violence in the home, including to intimate partner homicide. By contrast, risk of homicides that typically occur outside the home, such as those perpetrated by strangers or acquaintances, may have decreased due to lessened exposure to the greater community. This study aims to investigate whether stay-at-home policies differentially affected homicide rates, with an in-depth look at how intimate partner homicide and intimate partner violence-related homicide risk was affected by the pandemic. Our theoretical model suggests that, for victims of intimate partner violence and their children, isolating at home could elevate homicide risk simply by increasing the time spent alone with an abusive partner. Additional risk for intimate partner homicide may have also been exacerbated during this time, including firearm acquisition, increased alcohol consumption, and loss of employment. We selected two states for this study, New Jersey (NJ) and Arizona (AZ), as they present an excellent opportunity for comparison. AZ experienced its first surge of the virus later with stay-at-home policies enacted at different times, for shorter periods, and in a less restrictive manner than stay-at-home policies in NJ. This study will contribute to our understanding of the total costs of COVID-19 to our communities and to our most vulnerable groups. The goal of this project is to better understand how COVID-19 stay-at-home policies affected homicide risk. The first aim is to understand if the trends in the rates of intimate partner homicide and intimate partner violence-related homicide changed as stay-at-home policies were enacted and to compare these trends with those of other familial and non-domestic homicide. Case file information will be collected from law enforcement and medical examiners to get an accurate count of homicides that occurred in 2020, building upon data previously collected by this research team in AZ and NJ from 2016 to 2019. The second aim is to understand individual-level risk of homicide through qualitative interviews with the next-of-kin of homicide victims who were killed in 2020. During case file data collection, next-of-kin of victims of intimate partner homicide and intimate partner violence-related homicide will be identified and asked to participate in qualitative interviews that explore how COVID-19 and its related policies affected individual-level lethality risk. It is likely that future pandemics will arise, and it is imperative to understand population-level and individual-level risks for intimate partner homicide and intimate partner violence-related homicide in order to develop appropriate theory and prevention interventions, such as protocols for police response. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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