New study on murder-suicide cases

New study released on murder-suicides

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The Violence Policy Center, a national nonprofit group working to reduce violence in America, recently released a new study on murder-suicide cases.

The study collected all reported murder-suicides nationwide during the first six months of 2007. In that time, there were at least 554 deaths in 234 murder-suicides – an average of nine murder-suicides a week.

Almost all murder-suicides, or 88.5 percent, involved a firearm. 

Using these figures, the Violence Policy Center estimates that nearly 1,100 Americans die each year in murder-suicides.

Nine states had 10 or more murder-suicides in the six-month period of the study, with Florida and Texas the highest at 24 each. California had 17, and Pennsylvania had 14.

The study also found:

• Of the 554 murder-suicide deaths, 234 were suicides and 320 were homicides. Ninety-five percent of murder-suicides were committed by men.

• Seventy-three percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner – spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or girlfriend/boyfriend. Of these, 94 percent were women killed by their intimate partners.

• Forty-five of the homicide victims were children and teens less than 18 years of age. Forty-four children and teens less than 18 years of age were survivors who witnessed some aspect of the murder-suicide.

• Most murder-suicides – 75 percent – occurred in the home.

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