1 in 4 Arizona suicides are domestic-violence related, ASU center finds

One in four suicides in Arizona are related to violence involving an intimate partner, according to a new report from Arizona State University’s Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety.

The center is based at ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The center released the Arizona Violent Death Reporting System (AZ-VDRS) report, titled "Suicides Involving Intimate Partner Violence," a compilation of statistics taken from the examination of 5,711 violent deaths in Arizona between 2015 and 2017.

Researchers found that 3,678 of those deaths were determined to be suicides, said Professor Charles Katz, the Watts Family Director of the center, with 25.6% of those involving “intimate partner violence,” or IPV.

Suicides were determined to have been related to IPV when one or more of the following indicators were present:

  1. The victim was known to have experienced intimate-partner relationship problems near the time of death.
  2. The victim was known to have experienced IPV near the time of death.
  3. The victim had a history of victimization by IPV and/or the victim had a history of perpetrating IPV themselves.

Katz said compared with victims of non-IPV related suicides, those whose suicides were IPV-related were less likely to have received some college credit, less likely to have been veterans, more likely to have been married and more likely to have been born in Arizona.

Other findings included the following:

  • Of males who died by suicide during those three years, 7.3 per 100,000 population were IPV-related, the study found, while among females, 2.1 were.
  • The suicide rate for Arizona males was higher than for Arizona females, 28.1 per 100,000 population versus 8.6. For both genders, about 1 in 4 suicides was associated with IPV, Katz said.
  • Whites died by IPV-related suicide at a rate of 5.9 per 100,000, with 19.6 being non-IPV-related, the AZ-VDRS found. For blacks, 3.7 suicides per 100,000 were IPV-related and 7.2 non-related, while for Hispanics, 4.4 suicides were IPV-related and 6.9 non-related. For American Indians, 4.1 suicides were IPV-related and 9.1 non-related.
  • Mohave County experienced the highest number of IPV-related suicides between 2015 and 2017, with 11.6 per 100,000 population, while La Paz County had the lowest with 1.6. Maricopa County, the state’s most populous, had an IPV-related suicide rate of 4.4 per 100,000. The statewide average was 4.7.

Read the full report.

Written by Mark J. Scarp

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