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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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5. Femicide-Suicides in the Romanian Online Media


Although the cases of femicide and femicide-suicide keep being covered by the international press, only few studies analyzed the way in which journalists present these types of violence. Recent studies regarding the media representation of femicide drew attention to the way in which journalists described the cases of femicide and emphasized the journalists’ tendency to diminish the aggressors’ responsibility through some direct and indirect techniques of blaming the women victims (Meyers 1994, Taylor 2009, Richards et al. 2011, Fairbairn and Dawson 2013). On the other hand, the studies regarding femicide-suicides showed that these cases tend to be presented as newsworthy or routine cases (Nikunen 2011), as romantic love, loss of control by perpetrators (Gius and Lalli 2014) or as related/non-related to prior domestic violence (Richards et al. 2014). Moreover, journalists presented femicides and femicide-suicides as an individual event and not as a social problem and through this they contributed to maintaining a decreased level of intervention and prevention methods (Berns 2004, Carll 2003, Taylor and Sorenson 2002, Fairbairn and Dawson 2013, Richards et al. 2013).

Few studies tried to analyze the media coverage of femicides/femicide-suicides committed in Romania. Some of these studies tackled directly the subject of femicide-suicides (Balica forthcoming), while others placed the subject in the background (Balica and Stöckl 2016, Balica 2016). Each of these studies analyzed just some of the violent acts that are part of the sphere of femicides or femicide-suicides. Some articles discussed femicide-suicides whose victims were immigrant Romanian women...

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