The gender geography of intentional homicide within and out of the family. Male and female murders in Europe, US and Canada (2003-2015)

Gianpiero Dalla-Zuanna, University of Padova
Alessandra Minello, European University Institute

The most recent international data show that more than half of the victims of homicide committed in the family are women. In almost 80% of homicides perpetrated by partners, the victim is a woman. Using the most recent international data provided by the UNODC (United Nations Office On Drugs And Crime), in our article we discuss the geographical relation between male and female homicides, but also between overall homicides and murders occurred in a family context. We separately consider partner or former partner and family members and offer a temporal and geographical comparisons.

In Europe and North America males are much more at risk of dying by intentional homicide than females. Women, however, are more than twice at risk than men to be killed by their partner or a former partner. Within Europe and North America, enormous geographical differences persist. In the former Soviet Republics, the USA, the Balkans and to a lesser extent Eastern Europe, the risk of being murdered is much higher than in Canada, Central and Northern Europe and –most especially – Southern Europe. For homicides committed within the family, geographical differences are much less pronounced, especially if the victim is a woman and the perpetrator is the partner or former partner. The risk of being murdered decreases throughout the first part of the 21st century for males as well as females. The continuous decrease of homicides is mainly due to outside the family homicides.


Presented in Session 1190: Mortality and Longevity