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Dead or Alive? The role of personal characteristics and immediate situational factors in the outcome of serious violence

Why do certain incidents of serious violence end lethally whereas others do not? What role do personal characteristics of offenders and victims play and how do immediate situational factors influence outcomes?

Soenita Ganpat
16 December 2014
Leiden University Repository

So far, these questions have not been subjected to much empirical scrutiny in criminological studies. This study, conducted in the Netherlands, seeks to answer these questions by explicitly comparing violent events that ended lethally with those that ended non-lethally. By taking into account offenders’ and victims' personal characteristics as well as immediate situational factors, it offers a more complete understanding of differences in outcome. It shows that immediate situational factors contribute more significantly to the outcome of violent incidents than generally thought. The study also presents an overview of murder and manslaughter in the Netherlands and puts these figures into international perspective. A separate chapter compares different types of violent events. The findings provide crucial criminological insights which may also guide effor ts to reduce and prevent violent events from ending lethally in the future.

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