Human Nature

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 89–97

Risk of Death or Life-Threatening Injury for Women with Children Not Sired by the Abuser


    • Department of AnthropologyUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
  • Todd K. Shackelford
    • Oakland University
  • Carolyn Rebecca Block
    • Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
  • Valerie G. Starratt
    • Nova Southeastern University
  • Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford
    • Oakland University

DOI: 10.1007/s12110-012-9129-9

Cite this article as:
Miner, E.J., Shackelford, T.K., Block, C.R. et al. Hum Nat (2012) 23: 89. doi:10.1007/s12110-012-9129-9


Women who are abused by their male intimate partners incur many costs, ranging in severity from fleeting physical pain to death. Previous research has linked the presence of children sired by a woman’s previous partner to increased risk of woman abuse and to increased risk of femicide. The current research extends this work by securing data from samples of 111 unabused women, 111 less severely abused women, 128 more severely abused women, and 26 victims of intimate partner femicide from the Chicago Women’s Health Risk Study to document an ordinal trend in the risk of experiencing more severe forms of violence for women who have children in the household sired by a previous partner. The discussion addresses two potential explanations for this trend and highlights directions for future research.


Domestic violence Intimate partner abuse Intimate partner homicide Stepchildren

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012