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Type: Journal article
Title: Increasing incidence of nonlethal inflicted injuries in paediatric homicides: a 45-year study
Author: Pilla, M.
van den Heuvel, C.
Musgrave, I.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Clinical Forensic and Legal Medicine: an international journal of forensic and legal medicine, 2018; 59:4-7
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1752-928X
Statement of
Mark Pilla, Corinna van den Heuvel, Ian Musgrave, Roger W. Byard
Abstract: A retrospective study was undertaken at Forensic Science South Australia of all homicides in individuals aged <18 years from January 1970 to December 2014. 166 cases were identified (M:F = 1.5:1). The number of cases steadily declined, with the highest numbers and death rate occurring between 1970 and 1974 (N = 26; 0.37/100,000 population), and the lowest between 2010 and 2014 (N = 8; 0.1/100,000) (p < 0.01). Deaths were due to blunt force trauma (37%), gunshot wounds (19%), asphyxiation (18%), sharp force trauma (8%), poisoning (8%), burns (3%) and neglect (1%), or were undetermined (6%). There was a significant increase in numbers of accompanying nonfatal injuries (3.46 per case for 1970 and 1974, compared to 18.88 per case for 2010 and 2014). Thus, while both the absolute numbers and the rates of paediatric homicides declined significantly, numbers of nonlethal injuries increased. Whatever the underlying reason(s) for the increase in nonlethal injuries, fatal attacks on children in South Australia appear to be becoming more violent.
Keywords: Paediatric homicide; child abuse; injury; craniocerebral trauma; blunt force trauma
Rights: © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2018.07.007
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