Report shows reality of homicides in Indian country

On November 19, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control released a report on American Indian/Alaska Native homicides from 2003 to 2018as part of the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS).

According to the report, homicide is a leading cause of death among American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN). For intimate partner violence (IPV) homicides, nearly 90% of Native American/Alaska Native female victims were killed by a current or former intimate partner.

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The report covers data on 2,226 American Indian/Alaska Native homicides collected from 34 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia , Washington and Wisconsin) and the District of Columbia.

The homicide rate was 8 per 100,000 AI/AN population, and the rate was three times higher among men than among women. The median age of the victims was 32 years old and the average age range was 23 to 44 years old.

About half of homicide victims lived or were killed in metropolitan areas, and a firearm was used in nearly half of homicides. Guns have also been used to kill more men than women.

Over 80% of suspects were male, but less than a third of suspects were AI/AN. More than 50% of the suspects were white, non-Hispanic.

Women were more likely to be killed in their own home.

Women were more likely to be killed by a current or former intimate partner, while men were more likely to be killed by a friend or relative.

The report shows that interpersonal conflict was a predominant circumstance leading to homicide, with nearly half of all homicides preceded by an argument.

Report data includes victim and suspect gender, age group, and race/ethnicity; wound method; type of location where the homicide took place; the events that contributed to the homicide; and other selected features. Read the report here.

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