Intimate partner femicide–suicides in Ghana: Victims, offenders, and incident characteristics


The present study investigated the scope, nature, and determinants of intimate partner femicide–suicides (IPFS) that occurred in Ghana during 1990 to 2009. All 35 reported cases of intimate partner homicide–suicides with female homicide victims that occurred during the study period were extracted from a major Ghanaian daily newspaper. Findings indicate that offenders were of lower socioeconomic background and tended to be older than their victims. The results further show that shooting with a firearm and hacking with a machete were the primary homicide methods, whereas self-inflicted gunshots and hanging were the dominant suicide methods. Results showed that suspicion of infidelity and sexual jealousy were core contributing factors in arguments, disputes, and altercations that preceded the femicide–suicides. Furthermore, estrangement and threatened divorce or separation by the female intimate partner was a major precipitant of femicide–suicides. This article is only accessible with journal subscription.

External Authors

Mensah Adinkrah
Extant studies demonstrate that homicide–suicides occur primarily in intimate partner relationships and are overwhelmingly perpetrated by husbands, boyfriends, or former lovers against female partners (Adler, 1999; Banks et al., 2008; Dawson, 2005; M. Liem, 2010; Lund & Smorodinsky, 2001; Morton et al., 1998). According to existing research, women rarely take their own lives after murdering their spouses or lovers (Adler, 1999; Dawson, 2005; Lund & Smorodinsky, 2001). Regarding the scope and prevalence of IPFS, Mathews and associates (2008) reported that 18% to 40% of femicides that occur internationally are followed by perpetrator suicide.




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