Sunday, January 15, 2012

Domestic Violence and Declining Homicide Rates

The Centers for Disease Control recently removed homicide as a leading cause of death.  For the first time since 1965 homicide was not on the list of the top 15 causes of death as tabulated by the CDC.  See my recent blog

Homicide has declined dramatically over the last two decades.  Some cities, like New York, have their lowest homicide rate in nearly a half a century. Criminologists have debated the reasons for the decline but believe several factors may be at work.  We have long heard about the decline in the demand for crack cocaine, incarceration rates, better and more policing, better trauma care for shooting victims, an aging population even abortion.

The new theory: Abusive relationships don't end in murder as often as they once did, thanks to increased incarcerations and better, earlier support for victims.

"We've taken the home out of homicide," said James Alan Fox, a Northeastern University criminologist who studies murder data.

There has been a dramatic increase in domestic violence programs and law enforcement protocols for handling domestic violence.  The issue has been served by public awareness campaigns and expansive government funding.  Domestic violence and its impact on homicide rates is an interesting issue which needs further examination.

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