VICTORIA – Murdered women are eight times more likely than men to be killed by their spouse or romantic partner, according to new research from the BC Coroners Service.

This is one of the key findings of a BC Coroners Service research project into domestic violence deaths in B.C. since 2003. The report on the research was made public as part of Prevention of Violence Against Women Week.

The report looked at a total of 120 homicides which occurred from 2003 through 2011 in circumstances of “intimate partner violence” or IPV. IPV is defined as intentional harm or injury inflicted by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend or other romantic partner of the victim. A victim of IPV may include the current or former partner of the assailant, or a child or other person who died in an incident targeting the assailant’s partner.

Those 120 victims represented about one-eighth of all the persons who were victims of homicide in B.C. during the nine-year period. But 36.4 per cent of women who were murdered were killed by their intimate partners, but only 4.6 per cent of men died in such circumstances.

The research showed that of the assailants, 80 per cent were male and 20 per cent were female. In every situation in which more than one person died – either multiple homicides or homicide-suicides – the assailant was male. Females were more likely than males to kill in the heat of anger, but males were more likely to kill when a relationship had ended.