In 2006, more than 3,600 women in the United States lost their lives to homicide. Descriptive data regarding homicides of women are beginning to reveal important complexities regarding victim–offender relationships, severity of injury, and age of female homicide victim. More specifically, there is some indication that the correlation between victim–offender relationship and injury severity may be conditional, depending on victim age. This retrospective review accessed medical examiner records of female homicide victims from 2002 through 2004, and its findings offer additional illumination on the trends in associations of injury and relationship variables in the homicide of women over their life span. The study also examined the utility of the recently proposed Homicide Injury Scale (HIS) created by Safarik and Jarvis as a potential tool to explore these complicated associations by quantifying injury severity and examining its interrelationships with victim–offender relationship and age in cases of female homicide in Kentucky.

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Published in Homicide Studies, v. 14, no. 2, p. 181-192.

The manuscript provided, in accordance with publisher copyright rules, is the authors' postprint version.

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