During a particularly horrendous week in late 2009, three murder-suicides in Oregon claimed the lives of six adults and two children. At least two of these domestic violence victims were in the process of ending their troubled relationships. One woman, gunned down by her estranged husband at her suburban Portland workplace, had just filed for divorce. Another, killed at home along with her 4-year-old son, had obtained a restraining order against her boyfriend.

“Most of the women who die in...

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