Journal articles

Publication and Research: Dr Claire Ferguson and Dr Freya McLachlan

QUT Centre for Justice members, Dr Claire Ferguson, and PhD student, Freya McLachlan, have recently published an article in Feminist Criminology.  

Ferguson, C. & McLachlan, F. (2023) Continuing coercive control after intimate partner femicide: The role of detection avoidance and concealment. Feminist Criminology. DOI: 10.1177/15570851231189531

Read the media around the publication here.


Links between IPF and homicide concealment have been observed but not explained. We theorize IPF perpetrators use concealment to continue coercively controlling investigators, children, courts and finances post-IPF. We compare abuse in the relationship and surrounding IPF in five diverse cases. Facilitated by concealment, offenders use versatile, subtle and overt tactics to extend control post-IPF. They capitalize on opportunities for concealment and regaining control, sometimes without other benefits. Tactics are akin to those employed previously, aligning with the power and control wheel. Concealment allows offenders to dominate the death narrative and assists with remaining unaccountable.

About Claire Ferguson

Dr. Claire Ferguson is a Senior Lecturer, researcher and consultant in forensic criminology at QUT School of Justice.  Claire’s work brings together research and forensic case work in complex death investigations. While her research is published in many traditional academic journals, she also uses this expertise to assist police and attorneys by writing expert forensic reports and delivering expert testimony. Claire has been awarded several consultancies with police agencies around Australia, and has given expert testimony on equivocal deaths to the State Coroner of New South Wales. This testimony surrounded her research on detection avoidance strategies employed by homicide offenders. Claire’s doctorate (2011) research was an analysis of staged crime scenes in homicide cases internationally. This project was the only systematic review of these types of cases at that time and the findings have been cited and published widely.

About Freya McLachlan

Freya recently completed her PhD at QUT.  Freya’s thesis topic was Intimate Risks: Examining Online and Offline Abuse, Homicide Flags, and Femicide. 

Freya was supervised by Claire during her PhD and together they published a QUT Centre for Justice Briefing Paper titled, Predicting and assessing lethal risk in domestic and family violence situations in Australia

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