Yesterday, I looked at some data on homicide, worldwide, with a focus on regions, inequalities, presence of criminal organizations, guns, and weak governance.

[As usual, click on the images for larger views.]

Just as a quick recap:

Homicide compared population

Today, I want to look at some data from the other major aspects of the UNODC report, namely, gender and intimate violence in relation to homicide. I want to focus on this particular aspect of the report:

“Disparities not only exist in homicide typologies but also in their prevalence in different regions and countries, yet this study shows that intimate partner/family-related homicide is a chronic problem everywhere. Women murdered by their past or present male partner make up the vast majority of its victims worldwide, which explains why in many countries women are more likely to be murdered in the home than elsewhere.

Men, on the other hand, make up the vast majority of both victims and perpetrators of all types of crime, including homicide, and are more likely to be killed in the street. They are also more likely to be young, the street is more likely to be in a built up area and they are most likely to be killed with a gun.”

My emphases.

Let’s start with the gender of victims and relations to the perpetrators for European countries:

Homicides compared gender

Clearly, women are more likely to be killed by a spouse or ex-spouse than men whereas men are more likely to be killed by someone unknown to them. Homicides by proximity are more likely to create female victims.

However, as the report noted extensively, men are overall more likely to be victims of homicide. This holds true worldwide:

Homicides compared victims gender

Interestingly enough, it is in Europe that one finds the highest percentage of female victims (27%). Here is my humble explanation for this: Europe is the region where we found the strongest governments, the least organized criminality and gangs (although these last two factors are not completely absent, they are less prevalent and less destabilizing than in other regions). On the other hand, the type of homicide one finds in the Americas is more related to organized criminality and drug trafficking, these are masculine types of homicide where both perpetrators and victims are male.

Let’s add age to the mix:

Homicide compared age

The differences are especially striking when it comes to male victims: they are mostly located in the 15 – 44 age bracket, with a decrease after that. Again, this relates to the types of homicide to which men fall victims. On the other hand, age does not seem to be a major factor for women once they are past adolescence, since they are more likely to fall victims of someone more or less close (as opposed to unknown) to them.

Homicides compared locations

Now, this is an interesting graph because it shows that as the overall homicide rate goes down, homicide become more privatized, and therefore, create more female victims. In the countries on the left-hand side of the graph, you find high levels of homicide, mostly related to organized criminality and drug trafficking. These last two do create these high levels of homicide in the first place, but these are homicide of a public nature, between individuals who might not know each other, and where the deed is done in public (weak governance).

As income and development improve, the overall homicide rate goes down, but homicide becomes a more private matter, taking place behind closed doors, out of sight of the public, generating more female victims as a result of intimate partner violence. But the overall proportion of female victims goes up (and that of men goes down) even in the context of low homicide rates overall (Australia and Norway).

This trend can also be seen in this scatterplot:

Homicides Intimate Partners

The relationship between the percentage of intimate partner / family-related homicides and the percentage of female victims is quite strong. As one goes up, so does the other.

The reverse holds true as well. Take a look at this scatterplot of male/male homicide:

Homicides Male Male perp victims

No surprise here. One finds high levels of male on male homicidal violence in the Americas, also with an overall nice linear relationship. When men kill – worldwide and especially in the Americas, less so in Europe – they kill other men, largely in non-family-related contexts.

Take a look at Mexico.

Women victims:

Homicides Mexico Females

Except for the 10-14 age group, there is definitely an uptick around 2006. But keeping in mind the y-axis scale, compare that to the same graph for male victims in Mexico:

Homicides Mexico Males

Same here, the 10-14 age group is a flat line. There is the same uptick in 2006, but the scale is quite different, and higher. Many more men are killed in Mexico.

So there you have it. Homicide patterns worldwide.

One thought on “Homicide – Globally Speaking – Part II

  1. “generating more female victims as a result of intimate partner violence”

    I’d rather say generating less male victims.

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