A press report study on the demographics of homicide suicide in South Africa : 2002-2009.
Homicide suicide (HS) is rare phenomenon where an individual kills one or more people and then commits suicide, normally within a week or less. The suicide must be related to the homicide in order for it to be classified as a HS event. In South Africa, there is no national surveillance system tracking HS events which makes researching this phenomenon difficult. As a result, little research has been conducted in South Africa. This study aimed to determine, through media reports, the annual incident rates, the demographic profiles of the perpetrator and victims involved and the various features of HS in South Africa from 2002 to 2009. The findings of the present study are also compared to other international and national findings. This quantitative study analysed 328 HS events that were reported in nine national newspapers over an eight-year period. The results found that the typical South African HS perpetrator reported in the media is likely to be 37 years of age, male and black African. He would most likely be employed in the security sector and his victim would typically be a 25 year old, would be an intimate partner. Shooting was the most common method for the homicide and the suicide in HS events. The study concluded that the general demographics and patterns were similar to national and international studies.