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16 Homicide Stud. 3 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/homcst16 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                                                                    Homicide Studies
                                                                        16(1) 3-22
The     Declining        Number of                              2012 SAGE Publications
                                                               Reprints and permission:
C  hild    Homiicides in          Finland,             sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav
                                                         DOI: 10.1177/108876791 1428960
 I 960-2009                                                     http://hsx.sagepub.com

Martti   Lehti',juha Kdiriainen2,
and  janne Kivivuori'

Since the I 960s, homicides against children have decreased dramatically in Finland.
The article examines this decrease by disaggregating the trend in five child homicide
types between  1960-1974  and 2003-2009. There were  several factors reducing the
motivation and opportunity to commit most  child homicide types during the period.
Some  were  results of active social policies, some were byproducts of the policies,
and some  were related to the change of the moral climate. Most of the factors were
interdependent. However, one type of child homicide has been resistant to any of the
factors and the decreasing general trend: maternal filicide-suicides.

child homicides, infanticides, filicides, historical homicide trends, filicide-suicides, Finland

Changes  in child homicide rates' in Finland have been dramatic during the last 50
years. In the 1960s, the annual homicide mortality of children was 14 per million on
average; from 2000-2009  it was six per million. During the last 50 years, the crime
level has more than halved (Statistics Finland, cause of death statistics, 1936-2009).
The change  was most radical in homicides against infants; their death rate decreased
from 112 per million in the 1960s to 14 per million in the 2000s.
   The drop in the homicide mortality of children in Finland since the Second World
War  has not been a unique phenomenon. From  the 1970s until the 2000s, infanticide
mortality and the homicide mortality of older children both decreased in many Western

'National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Helsinki, Finland
2Police College of Finland,Tampere, Finland

Corresponding Author:
Martti Lehti, LLD, NRILP, POB 444, Helsinki 00531, Finland
Email: petas@mlehti.pp.fi

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