Continuing to look at statistics, this post looks at the UK homicide figures over the last ten years. See also my previous post on VAW statistics. These and future posts can all be found using the category search “statistics”.
All of the figures in this post have been based on the Home Office document, which includes the finished summary in PDF form, plus the underlying data tables used for the report (which are very handy for making your own charts and filtering the data beyond the Home Office analysis). The report was written by three dudes and one female, and the homicide figures dwell disproportionately on victims and method of homicide, as well as conviction analysis (this latter one is less helpful, the victim seems to be just as dead regardless if the killer was convicted of murder or manslaughter).
The start of the Victim analysis begins with this observation (from page 15 of the report):
The risk of being a victim of homicide remains low, with 11 such offences recorded per million population during 2009/10. […] males were more than twice as likely to be a victim of homicide than females
Oh noes! Teh poor menz are twice as likely to be victims of homicide compared with females. We will return to the victim analysis a little later. For some mysterious reason, whilst this report is able to make such an astute observation with regards to the sex of the victim, they somehow cannot piece together the trend of the sex of the perpetrator. Being a helpful sort, I thought I would give them a hand (summary extracted from tab ‘Table 1.10’):
Gosh, I am not sure why the HO missed that bit of important information, looking over the ten-year period, there is a clear trend that males are committing just over 90% of the homicides/manslaughters. This is also reflected in the general prison population figures, roughly just over 90% of the prison population is male. If, as the MRAs say, “women are just as violent as men”, then it certainly is not showing up in the convictions, so the only conclusion there is that MRAs talk a lot of shit (I am not sure that this is breaking-news to my regular readers). I would add at this point that at least some of the women in each year would still be convicted of killing an abusive spouse, because years of abuse or fearing for one’s life is not justifiable in the eyes of the law (thankfully sometimes these convictions get overturned due to feminist organisations such as Justice for Women).
Getting back to the victims. In the HO report of the ten-year period, there were three ‘mass events’ that are of significance to the figures. They are:
- 172 deaths attributed to Harold Shipman in the 2002/03 data. This is problematic for several reasons, firstly being it was the re-classification of the deaths from ‘natural causes’ to homicide, secondly, the deaths did not occur in that year (occuring over a twenty-year period prior to 2000), and thirdly, no exact number of Shipman’s victims is known, only estimated (at 215). The HO data tables do not specify the sex breakdown of the 172 victims added to the 2002/03 data, and in adjustment, I have used a rough 80% female ratio of 138 and 34 males. This event was a (mass) negligent homicide/manslaughter, and for statistical purposes of victim analysis by sex, should be excluded.
- The deaths of 58 Chinese nationals in a lorry in 2000/01, due to the driver’s negligence. The deaths were 54 males and 4 females.
- The deaths of 21 cockle pickers in the 2003/04. The HO document states “20 deaths”, and as two of the victims were female, the split I have used when excluding this event is 2 female/18 male. This event was a (mass) negligent homicide/manslaughter, and for statistical purposes of victim analysis by sex, should be excluded.
- The 7 July bombings in London (in the 2005/06 figures) resulted in 52 unlawful deaths (and additionally the 4 deaths of the terrorist perpetrators not counted in the victim statistics). The breakdown of the victims by sex were 28 females and 24 males. This was a mass event with a purely random distribution of homicide by sex of the victim, and although does not impact the victim percentage greatly, does impact the number of homicides that year.
Looking at the unadjusted data for the ten-year period, the three latter events do not have a great impact on the sex-of-victim figures, but the Shipman victims do have a dramatic impact.
Removing these three mass events does not bias radfem figures, if anything it is more beneficial to MRAs, however I believe it is still better to exclude these events for the reasons stated above.
Below are the data tables I have used for the above charts. Although the latter two events have little effect on the percentage breakdown of victims, they do create a ‘spike’ for total numbers of those years. Bad luck for the police in 2005, the homicide stats would have been much better looking if not for the bombings. Figures were taken from Table 1.05 of the HO spreadsheet, adjusted figures were amended as outlined above. Victims are 16 and over, victims under 16 are kept separately in the HO report.
The victim study becomes more interesting when the relationship between the victim and perpetrator is examined. A snapshot of the 2009/10 relationships are piecharted on page 17 of the document, but I think it is better to look at the ten-year average (plus, in my charts, I have similarly coloured some categories to illustrate more clearly actual relationships).
To see the actual trend over the ten-year period, the data (even by the HO document, is broken into five main categories. These are “partners or ex-partners”, “other family members” (which also includes the ‘dishonour’ killings, the data is actually broken into three family relationships), “friends/acquaintances” (which I assume could include business partners, neighbours), “strangers” (which does include a small number where relationship to the victim is unknown by police reports), and “no suspect”.
Well, that is a distinct trend between the victims, male victims are not in much danger from spouses or other family members, but most in danger (almost equally) from friends/acquaintances or strangers. Females are most definitely in danger from spouses (44% from partners/ex-partners alone) and combining that with other family members, the total risk to females from all family members is just over 60%, so family is not a safe place for females, it is the most risky place to be. The combined family risk for males is only around 16%, with the threat from spouses around 5-6%. The safest place for males is actually within the home.
Putting the ten-year-average into a piechart, and comparing it to the 2009/10 data (which is also the same piechart used on page 17 of the HO document):
So the actual domestic violence related homicide figure for females is that around 60% are DV-related, with just under half from a partner or ex-partner. Putting that into actual numbers, of the 198 homicides of females in 2009/10, 136 of those deaths were from a partner, ex-partner, or other family member. This is contrasted with 67 homicides of males committed by a family member, making DV-related homicides of males only one-third in actual numbers, which again disproves the MRA stance of “women are just as violent”. The homicide by partner/ex-partner is the most contrasted though, with 95 females murdered by spouse vs 21 males murdered by spouse, doubtless that some of those 21 were actually domestic abusers, whereas the females would all or almost all have been domestic violence victims.
It is also worth noting that all these figures are for ages 16 and above of victims, and includes late teenagers (16-19) who would in many cases be living at home with at least one parent. The comparison of the “other family members” between male and female victims is about equal, and therefore the sex of the perpetrator would be 90/10 male/female or greater.
It is generally assumed that most (if not all) of the female victims are murdered by male partners/ex-partners (and although there is some domestic abuse in lesbian relationships, it is generally more psychological abuse, nor do I know of any lesbian partner homicides, it is extremely rare). However, male victims of spousal homicide, whilst the majority are female perpetrators, is not exclusively so, and may include homosexual male DV homicides. For males experiencing domestic violence, the perpetrators are just as likely to be male as female, whereas females experiencing DV are more likely to be the victims of male perpetrators (generally 85-90% of the time).