Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homicide-Suicide Statistics shows concerns over mental health awareness and male violence towards women

A recent article published in the Columbus Dispatch concerning statistics and issues related to homicide-suicide confirm the results of a study by Malphurs and Cohen - "A Statewide Case-Control Study of Spousal Homicide-Suicide in Older Persons," that was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (March 2005).

The Malphurs & Cohen study found that 25% of homicide-suicide perpetrators had a history of domestic violence. In the study, all of the perpetrators were men and 40% were care givers for their wives. Furthermore, their study points out that 65% of homicide-suicide perpetrators and 80% of suicides where a man committed suicide alone were men who were depressed before their deaths. All the perpetrators in this study were men who were often described as dominating, controlling individuals. Their research points out that "depression" is prominent in persons of all ages who commit suicide. Their research also points out that most often the perpetrator is the husband and the victim is the wife.

The article in the Columbus Dispatch points to the recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta that released a report about violent deaths based on statistics from 16 states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported:
In the 200 studied cases, a gun was used nearly 90 percent of the time and men almost always were both the suspects and the suicide decedents. About 15 percent of the suspects had a diagnosed mental-health problem; 10 percent of the suspects were receiving treatment.

The highest percentages of both the homicide and suicide victims were between 35 and 44 years old.

Concerns about Homicide-Suicide relate to the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide based on the false conclusions by some media reporters who state that homicide-suicide deaths are based on a "compassionate" motivation.

When reading the research, one must conclude that the concept of the "compassionate homicide" death is actually a rare occurance, if ever, the reason for the violent acts.

Society needs to recognize that nearly every time these cases are related to mental health concerns or the controlling/abusive actions of the perpetrator spouse towards the other spouse.

Link to the article in the Columbus Dispatch:

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