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DOMESTIC DISPUTES SET THE STAGE FOR HOMICIDES

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At least a third of all homicides in Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties last year occurred during some sort of domestic dispute.

Nationally, homicides from domestic disputes are down (see story on A4). But Utah still has its fair share.Six wives were killed by their husbands during 1993, three husbands at the hands of their wives. Three boyfriends were charged with killing their girlfriends, one man is accused of killing his brother and another man killed his mother.

1994 looks no different for the Wasatch Front. When a woman stabbed her boyfriend to death during an April family fight in West Jordan, prosecutors declined to file charges against her, saying the killing was justified. Two other people in Salt Lake County have died during family fights in the past week alone. A third person committed suicide because of a domestic problem.

But beatings and other violence usually precede murder.

About one in every five females victimized by their spouse or ex-spouse reported that they had been a victim of at least three assaults in the previous six months, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the largest national crime survey.

Police and social workers see victims of family violence coming from all races, ages and social classes. But other statistics from the national survey give some indication of who is more likely to be victimized by family violence.

Annually, women experienced more than 10 times as many incidents of violence by a husband, boyfriend or other relative than men. On average each year between 1987-1991, women experienced 572,032 violent victim-i-za-tions at the hands of an "intimate," compared to 48,983 incidents committed against men.

Other National Crime Victimization Survey statistics include:

Race: White and black women experienced equivalent rates of violence committed by relatives. White females are more likely to be assaulted by spouses or ex-spouses; black females are more likely to be victims of boyfriends or ex-boyfriends.

Age: Victims of violence by a spouse or ex-spouse are most likely to be ages 20 to 34, while the victims of boyfriends are most likely to be ages 16 to 24.

Income: Females living in families with annual incomes under $20,000 are four times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than those in families with incomes more than $50,000.

Women with family incomes less than $9,999 were more than five times as likely to experience a violent victimization by an intimate and more than twice as likely to be victimized by an acquaintance than those with family incomes over $30,000.

Injuries: More than half of the victims of family offenders were injured compared with just under a quarter of the victims of strangers. In almost 25 percent of the cases of violence by a family member, the victim received medical care.

Education: Women with lower education and family income levels were more likely to be victimized by intimates than women who had graduated from college and who had higher family incomes.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Who commits family violence?

Relationship of the Average annual Percent of all family

offender to the victim number victimizations

BOY/GIRLFRIEND 315,956 37%

SPOUSE 211,872 25%

EX-SPOUSE 93,134 10%

OTHER RELATIVE 71,788 8%

BROTHER/SISTER 54,436 7%

PARENT 31,991 4%

CHILD 34,571 4%

UNSPECIFIED 33,052 5%

Family violence as measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey includes any rape, robbery or assault that was committed by intimates such as spouses, ex-spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, children or other relatives. Homicide is not measured in the survey. Crimes against children under age 12 are excluded. Figures reflect average yearly totals from 1973-1992.