n African Safety Promotion - Socio-demographic and spatio-temporal predictors of homicidal strangulation in the City of Johannesburg, South Africa - research

Volume 17 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1728-774X


The literature on the predictors of disaggregated homicide rates exposes a distinct void with respect to strangulation fatality. The current study examines the effects of socio-demographic and spatio-temporal variables on the risk for homicidal strangulation relative to the other leading causes of homicide in the City of Johannesburg for the period 2001-2010. The data were derived from the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System. A series of logistic regressions were performed to assess the independent associations between each of the predictor variables and fatal strangulation relative to the other leading causes of homicide. The analysis revealed that there are several unique socio-demographic and spatio-temporal factors that differentiate homicidal strangulation risk from the risk for other causes of homicide. Sex was found to be the strongest predictor of homicidal strangulation, with the risk significantly higher for females. The elderly (60+ years), were found to be at marked risk of fatal strangulation, as were children between the ages of 0-14 years. The most noteworthy predictive effects for temporality were observed for time of day and day of the week, with daytime and weekdays representing the periods of higher risk. In the current analyses, scene of death did not emerge as a significant predictor of strangulation homicide. The study supports the contention that differentiated risk profiles for the different causes of homicide are important to recognise and delineate for the purposes of strangulation homicide prevention.

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