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The publication of Domestic Homicide; a much-needed synthesis of the literature on domestic homicide.

By Marieke Liem and Frans Koenraadt. Domestic homicide constitutes an extreme type of interpersonal violence. This book offers a much-needed synthesis of the literature on domestic homicide, covering its history; the theories supporting it; its various forms such as filicide, intimate partner homicide, parricide, siblicide, familicide and homicide-suicide; and its prevention.

The authors explore the predominant theories that have been used to explain domestic homicides in general, as well as specific subtypes of domestic homicide. We asked Marieke Liem about this research and the book.

Why this book?

Homicide constitutes the most extreme type of violent behaviour. When such events take place within the family, the degree of secondary victimization spreads drastically. Such events lead to confusion, and to questions such as: Who are the victims and the perpetrators? Where did these events take place? What are the motives and dynamics underlying the event? And, how can future events of this kind be prevented? This book provides insights into the most common types of domestic homicide: The killing of an intimate partner, child, parent, sibling, or another family member.

This book seeks to:

  1. Provide an overview of the ‘what-who-where-why and how’ in domestic homicides.
  2. Debunk common stereotypes surrounding domestic homicide by providing empirical findings from current academic research.
  3. Give the reader unique insights into the dynamics of domestic homicides.


Surprisingly, even though domestic homicide oftentimes leads to widespread societal unrest, academic research in this area is scarce. Building on vast amounts of primary data on domestic homicide in the Netherlands, including police data; court files and forensic mental health reports on domestic homicide suspects, we seek to fill this void.

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