Statistics – Homicides (part 1)


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).

19 thoughts on “Statistics – Homicides (part 1)

  1. FAB Libber

    The last set of pie charts are truly frightening.
    Put together ‘family’ with ‘aquaintances’ and that accounts for almost three-quarters on average.

    The old ‘stranger danger’ is only applicable for male safety, not female safety.

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  2. jilla

    My yes, you are useful. These are outcomes we surmise, but to be able to show it as fact? Very illuminating. I shall probably play linkey in a few places if that’s ok.

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  3. ball buster

    “The old ‘stranger danger’ is only applicable for male safety, not female safety.”

    Oh, absolutely. Men are always telling women to ‘be careful’ when they go outside, but it’s them who has to be careful, actually. The stats in the US prove this, too. Women are likely to get hurt by men she knows, even if it’s just an acquaintance she happened to meet at a club a few times. Men victimize women by gaining their trust. It’s crucial for women to know this. I don’t speak to men for this reason. I only show politeness enough to get out of harms’ way.

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  4. maggie

    I’d be interested to get the stats for all of the 20th century, especially those for violence against women by those they know. Dworkin reported this in the 70s, that the home is the most dangerous place for women. 40 years on and nothing has changed.

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  5. FAB Libber

    Jilla, I don’t encourage ‘general’ linking here and there (only on other radfem blogs). What I might do is put these general stat posts on another WP addy, and maybe that could be linked to. I already have registered ‘fablibber.wordpress.com’ etc.

    Maggie, the problem with much older stats (even going beyond 10-20 years) is that method/data collection would vary. This one for the last 10 years is relatively ‘clean’, even though in some cases the relationship between victim/perp was not known. I am not saying it can’t be done, but it would be hard to get the data in the first place (not having access to the police files), and cross-referencing convictions/relationships etc would also be a big job.

    But as you say, Dworkin et al have always mentioned that the home is a dangerous place for females, not just homicide and DV, but also rape, incest etc.

    As BB says, males victimise by gaining the trust (or enough to get close to) their victims.

    I have a lot more stats just from this one document to come. But this one post took me quite a while, more than all day, just to extract the data, make the charts.

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  6. jilla

    Re linking: I knew that. Reconsidered immediately but got waylaid to correct my post. Thanks.

    Yes BB. Or they already have your trust, because they are your blood. And when you’re 70 (and on?) you’re still supposed to keep their secrets, because you read their obit and learned what great guys they were, humanitarian, always put family first. Other fiction which everyone holds up. Has anyone else noticed that? In abuser families, the children lie about their male relatives because they each think they are the *one* wrong, and also because you do genuinely love now hate now love them? Which is your madness.

    Male abuse is best when it’s family. The damage is deeper, lasts longer, more thorough, more multi-faceted.

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  7. Sargasso Sea

    “[…] you’re still supposed to keep their secrets, because you read their obit and learned what great guys they were, humanitarian, always put family first. Other fiction which everyone holds up. Has anyone else noticed that?”

    Um, yes. I have.

    The Perv used to remind me at least once a week (before the senility really took over) that he’d already written his obituary because “you don’t know all of the important things I’ve done.” I’d ask him if he’d included the part about being a pedophile to which he’d say, “I’ve already apologized for that!” (die, perv, die)

    What totally sucks is that the damn paper is not going to print an obit that mentions the Sainted Dead White Man was a fucking sexual (and physical) abuser. I intend to re-write that obit in such a way that they can’t refuse to publish and still tell the world the truth.

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  8. Sargasso Sea

    And Fab, to be honest I haven’t read the entire post yet because I want to devote proper attention to it.

    Also, I am jealous that you HAVE statistics at all. The Dark Times (the Bush years) effectively did away with those silly stats. I have a hard time finding any *official* data on anything post-early 2000s. And I have no idea if the Oh, Bama admin is doing anything to rectify that gaping hole or not…

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  9. ball buster

    Jilla, s4, I am horrified by this. Yeah, men hate it when we remember, to quote a post FCM did a while back. They’re only obsessed with their own image and well being, screw anyone else’s. Self absorbed, right to the bitter fucking end. smh

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  10. Sargasso Sea

    Hi Maggie 🙂

    The Perv is my partner’s father so he really only hurts me through her.

    But I disagree that he won’t be able to hurt her/us after he’s dead. Recognizing her PTSD she often says that her life has been stress and periods of less stress but that her baseline existence is Stress.

    And that won’t change just because he’s dead.

    Also I just want to say that having known this woman for more than half of my life and having been witness to the human tragedy of a search for peace that doesn’t come, and that I can’t provide, my heart breaks for her; for all of us.

    This shit has got to STOP.

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  11. Jennifer

    I’ve just located this annual report entitled ‘When Men Murder Women’ it is published by Violence Policy Centre which is based in US. This report is the latest one available and confirms what we already know. Namely the most dangerous place for women is in their own homes if men are also living there.

    Note too the title of this report doesn’t say ‘Women murdered by gender neutral persons’ but ensures reader will immediately see which sex is committing these crimes against women.

    MRAS commonly justify their claim that women are as violent if not worse than men by saying ‘most women are not prosecuted for murdering known men because these women poison the male(s) and police do not realise this is how the man died!!’ MRAS are experts in creating new myths and lies.

    That’s why the moon is made of green cheese – despite evidence to the contrary – MRAS would make this claim if it benefitted their claims to male right of dominating and controlling women. Sigh!!

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2010.pdf

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  13. zeph

    I am not a graph person, but I think these are amazing, the pie charts are particularly clear. It shows that marriage, the nuclear family, and being involved with lovers are the most fatal situations for women. The very ones that are vaunted as the safest. I hope you keep reposting these. Thanks for the work that went into them, we need more of these images based on figures.

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  14. FAB Libber

    Thanks zeph. I was saying to Jilla in the Chaz thread that sometimes visuals really get the point across. Yes, I should do some more when I get around to it.

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  15. jilla

    Amazing they are. I actually got these graphs, which is very unusual for me. I have no graphy background. Moar!

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