The correlation between suicide & intimate partner abuse

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More than one-quarter, or 27%, of 7,651 suicides in Arizona between 2015 and 2020 involved a problem with the victim’s intimate partner, a new Arizona State University study reports. The center’s director and an ASU criminology and criminal justice professor said that the data tell the story of how premeditation, mental illness and substance abuse can affect an action many people consider to be spontaneous – and how others might be able to influence prevention. Director Professor Charles Katz explains these results.

The study shows how sixty percent of victims have a known history of suicidal thoughts or attempts. “Most of the people that commit suicide tell us in one way or another that they are going to commit suicide. Either they have told loved ones, they’ve tried it in the past, and those are really key opportunities that we need to take to intervene and to help these individuals,” Katz said.

Firearms have played a significant role in suicides; the results show that fifty nine percent of the the suicides in the study were committed with the use of a firearm. Katz suggests having one on one conversations with those individuals who have shown suspicious conducts that could lead to suicide attempts and sometimes take further action. In this case, taking away firearms away from them.

Sixty three percent of suicide victims had a history of mental health problems, which according to Katz it is not surprising at all. Other numbers inside this study showed that thirty two percent indicated that victims had an addiction problem. All of these factors combined with domestic abuse create a pattern that leads to suicide.

“Domestic violence is a key issue if we are going to reduce suicide, we have to do something about partner violence,” Katz said.

Professor Charles Katz, Director of the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety

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