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Possible Decline in Intimate Partner Homicides Result of Improved Social Position Women

Marieke Liem, Associate Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs and crime reporter Gerlof Leistra made an analysis of the Murder List 2019. They discussed their findings on Dutch NPO Radio 1 and in an article for Dutch news magazine 'Elsevier Weekblad'.

The number of homicide victims has declined significantly since the '90s. In 2019 there were a total of 117 victims, eleven more than in 2018. In 2018, the lowest number of victims was recorded since Elsevier Weekblad started recording the number of murders committed each year in 1992. The average number of victims in the '90s was substantially higher with 250 victims. Marieke Liem states that the long term decline in murders can be explained by the drop in arguments resulting in fatal violence, the so-called man-man homicides, and the number of intimate partner homicides.

Explanations Decline Intimate Partner Homicides

The first explanation provided by Liem is that fewer people chose to remain in a hazardous relationship: 'Think of emotionally suffocating relationships in which women are also financially dependent on their partner.' Other explanations can be found in the fact that fewer people get married and that relationships are less durable: partners tend to separate at an earlier stage when problems occur. Based on the murder list, Liem and Leistra conclude that the improved social position of women is a possible explanation for the lower murder rate in this group.

You can listen to the full NPO Radio 1 segment (in Dutch) here. 

You can read the full Elsevier Weekblad article (in Dutch) here.

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