Scholars highlight the importance of asking victim–survivors of intimate partner violence directly about their lived experiences. In cases where the victim is killed, however, those voices are silenced. Qualitative interviews with friends and family members (informants) of intimate partner femicide victims highlighted that, while many victims experienced physical violence at the hands of their partners, they often did not label such violence as ‘abuse’. The interviews further revealed that all victims experienced coercive control, and most were in the process of regaining some level of autonomy at the time of their deaths. As might be expected, the grief and loss for the survivors was close to unbearable.