Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrators in a Forensic Psychiatric Outpatient Setting: Criminal History, Psychopathology, and Victimization

Jens Henrichs, Stefan Bogaerts, Jelle Sijtsema, Fanny Klerx-van Mierlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated criminological, psychopathological, and victimological profiles of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrators in a sample of 119 Dutch female and male forensic psychiatric outpatients aged 18 to 58 years. In addition, differences in criminological, psychopathological, and victimological factors between IPV perpetrators (n = 61, 51.3%) and non-intimate violence (NIV) perpetrators (n = 58, 48.7%) were examined. All data, including information on demographics, criminal history, history of psychological, sexual, and physical victimization during childhood or adolescence, family history of psychopathology, history of psychopathology in childhood and adolescence, and mental disorders, were derived from archival electronic medical records. Mental disorders were measured using structured psychiatric interviews and final consensus diagnoses were established during weekly case consultations. Both IPV and NIV perpetrators displayed high rates of criminal history, psychopathology, and previous victimization, but the two groups did not differ in these factors with two exceptions. IPV perpetrators were significantly more likely to have higher rates of previous physical victimization and intermittent explosive disorder than NIV perpetrators. The current study suggests that a history of physical victimization and intermittent explosive disorder are specific characteristics of IPV perpetrators in a forensic psychiatric outpatient setting. Future research should focus on mechanisms explaining the association of childhood victimization and IPV and increase our understanding of the role of intermittent explosive disorder in IPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2109-2128
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • criminal history
  • forensic psychiatric outpatients
  • intimate partner violence
  • psychopathology
  • victimization

Cite this