When the perpetrator kills himself, reporters and headline writers may treat the murders as epic tragedies rather than domestic violence.

This is especially true when children are also murdered: "A model employee whose life fell apart." (Young case, Providence Journal, 3/22/99)

Without context, these headlines obscure domestic violence, framing murders as private tragedies.

Use sources to illuminate the psychology of domestic violence. Interview experts, family, coworkers, and friends to look for warning signs—a pattern of control, intimidation, and/or violence.

Media Practice

“On Saturday, police say he fatally shot her outside 437 Charles St. before fleeing to an apartment and killing himself. A history of domestic violence, including violating no-contact orders, is a ‘lethality risk factor’ in domestic-violence situations, experts say. Domestic-violence homicide ‘usually happens after many incidents of domestic violence,’ said Tonya Harris, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.” – The Providence Journal, 8/26/19