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Homicide among Indigenous South Australians: a forty-year study (1969-2008)

, : Homicide among Indigenous South Australians: a forty-year study (1969-2008). Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine 19(8): 445-447

A retrospective review of homicide cases among Aboriginal people in South Australia examined at Forensic Science SA was undertaken over a 40-year period from 1969 to 2008. A total of 90 Indigenous homicide victims were identified compared to 599 non-Indigenous victims over the same time period. Although homicide rates have fallen, the Indigenous homicide rate (ranging from 73.5 to 223.97 per 100,000) significantly exceeded the non-Indigenous rate (ranging from 8.16 to 12.6 per 100,000) for all decades (p<0.001). The most common methods of homicide in the Indigenous population involved blunt force and sharp force trauma, with gunshot, strangulation and other forms of homicides being encountered less often. While lack of access to firearms may explain the lower numbers of gunshot deaths it would not explain the low numbers of deaths due to strangulation. Considerable variability may, therefore, exist in the types of unnatural deaths that may be found in different cultural and ethnic groups, even within the same community.


PMID: 23084305

DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2011.12.027

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