Observatory on Couple and Family Crimes (1 May-31 August) 2003

In the first four months of 2003, the Observatory on Couple and Family Crimes classified 49 homicides that claimed 62 victims: in marriages, in cohabitations, in engagements, between lovers as well as between relatives of various degrees (fathers, mothers, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews) and that affected infants and children. In the same period, 211 homicides were recorded by the Criminal Police, including both the types monitored by the Observatory and other types. Of the 211 homicides, 29% fell into the category of crimes committed by couples and families: in other words, one death every two days. This comparison is enough to highlight the weight assumed by partner and family crimes in the country’s criminal scene. In the first four months of 2003, the monitoring photographs the situation that emerges in the 48 hours following the crime and, consequently, among the 56 perpetrators of the 54 criminal episodes were also included those strongly suspected and among the victims those who did not die. The preponderance of crimes committed by couples as opposed to family/parental crimes and infanticides was evident, confirming the following hypothesis: the conflict-crime syndrome is triggered above all where there are emotional ties between women and men, hence in couples, as spouses, partners, lovers or boyfriends.

Last but not least, the descriptive element that emerges from the data is the ‘single-sex’ characteristic of the perpetrators of crimes in couples: 30 are the perpetrators, four the female perpetrators, one of whom acts in collaboration with a friend. The professional and occupational background of the perpetrators is low to medium, with a high presence of unemployed or occasional workers. The number of pensioners includes not only older people but also men aged 45-55. As the Institute highlights, mental suffering is in the first place among the causes and motivations that led people to commit homicides.



Constancy and constants of the crime
He kills her, in the couple
Blood relations
Victims and perpetrators
More in the North than in the South
Causes and motivations
I love you, I’ll kill you
When children are involved: him, her, the law
Suffering denied


One murder every two days in couples and families in the first four months of 2003 alone

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