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Homicide-Suicides in Romania

Statistical Data and Media Representations

Ecaterina Balica

This book examines homicide-suicides in a post-communist country in South-East Europe. It presents results regarding risk factors and particularities of homicide-suicides in Romania committed in the period 2002–2013.

The author analyses statistical data from legal records, police registers, and online newspapers discussing the way in which the victims and aggressors of homicide-suicides are represented. She completed the data by investigating six penitentiaries in Romania regarding the risk factors specific to various types of homicide-suicide: intimate partner femicide-suicides, familicide-suicides, filicide-suicides and homicide-suicides committed by police officers.

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2. Intimate Partner Femicides versus Intimate Partner Femicide-Suicides in Romania


Before giving reasons for the need for the comparative analysis made in this chapter, I consider necessary to clarify the meaning of some terms used. In order to describe the deliberate homicide of an intimate partner (husband/wife, former husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, former boyfriend/girlfriend, concubine, former concubine) the specialty literature used the terms intimate partner homicide (Liem and Nieuwbeerta 2010, Liem and Roberts 2009) and intimate partner femicide (Mathews et al. 2008). When the term ‘intimate partner homicide’ was used, the perpetrator might have been the male or female partner. In the case in which the term intimate femicide was used, then it was certainly a homicide committed by a man against a woman who is or was in a relationship with that man.

Conversely, in order to refer to the deliberate homicide of an intimate partner and the suicide of the perpetrator, the terms ‘intimate partner homicide-suicide’ or ‘intimate femicide-suicide’ were used. These terms are not identical in content. Intimate partner homicide-suicide includes the homicide committed both by a man and by a woman against their intimate partner and then the aggressor’s suicide. The terms ‘intimate partner femicide-suicide’ (Adinkrah 2014) and ‘intimate femicide-suicide’ refer only to the homicide committed by a partner against a woman who is (or was) in an intimate relationship with the perpetrator; after which the perpetrator commits suicide (Mathews et al. 2008, Koziol-McLaine 2006, Dawson 2005).

My investigations in the three last years showed that the number of intimate partner homicide-suicides...

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