Any crime isn’t a trivial matter. For most people, killing someone or committing a violent act against them is something that would never be considered. Yet there are times when one person acts in haste, blinded by emotion, and will do something that seems to be completely outside of their character. That’s when crimes of passion can occur.
According to government statistics, 30% of women who are murdered are killed by their spouses.
Crime of Passion
Less than 9% of women are ever killed by a stranger. This means that “passion” is the motivation behind a majority of violent acts, but why is this? Sometimes it is jealousy or fear, but sometimes a crime of passion is completely spontaneous. The sad truth, however, is that women are more often the target of these crimes than men.
- The idea of temporary insanity caused by passion comes from an 1859 case where a husband shot a Congressman for having an affair with his wife.
- Until 1991, honor killings where a man killed his wife were considered legal in Brazil. In just one year, over 800 women were killed in such a fashion.
- Until 1980, it was legal for a husband to kill his spouse when she committed adultery.
- Women who kill a husband who has been cheating is more likely to get a shorter prison sentence than men in the same situation in the US.
- In New Zealand, 60% of the murder cases that are brought before the court are a direct result of domestic violence.
- In some countries, up to 30% of girls have experienced some form of physical violence in the home before the age of 15.
- 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime.
Why are so many crimes of passion based in the home environment? When you look at the data, one word seems to come to mind: insecurity. People are struggling to trust their significant others and this is leading them down a path of compromises that ultimately ends up in some form of a crime. The sad reality is that many crimes of passion end up with an outcome where everyone gets hurt. When there is a murder, then a suicide by the perpetrator usually follows. This leaves families questioning what is happening, children without parents, or worse – kids being harmed by their parents as a form of “protection.”
Do Men Escape Being Victims In Crimes Of Passion?
- Only 5% of men are killed by their significant other or a lover.
- The average American has a 1.1% chance of becoming the victim of violent crime at any given moment.
- In England and Wales, the risks of this happening to someone are tripled in comparison to the US figures when homicides are removed from the equation.
- Women between the ages of 20-24 have the greatest risk of becoming the victim of domestic violence.
- More than 3 million children in the US witness some form of violence in their home every year.
- Children who live in violent homes have to a 60% higher risk of suffering from neglect as well.
- Even when crimes of passion don’t result in death, they can result in long-term health problems, including headaches, fatigue, and lethargy.
- When domestic violence statistics are included, women suffer 1 million more violent attacks every year than men.
Men can become the victim of a crime of passion because these crimes can happen to anyone. The reality, however, is that women are the predominant target and the statistics prove this without a doubt. It’s not just women who are at risk since many of these crimes happen in the home. Children in a home might not always be a victim of a crime of passion, but they do become victimized. Not only do health consequences manifest themselves through fear or intimidation, but the violent environment becomes “normal” and so they may justify their own future crimes of passion later on in life.
How Bad Is It Out There Right Now?
- On average, there are 24 people who become the victims of a violent act or will have a partner begin stalking them every minute in the United States.
- Nearly 15% of women have been injured by an act that could be classified as a crime of passion.
- Between 1994-2010, 80% of the victims of intimate violence were women.
- Up to 81% of women who become victims are repetitively victimized by the same perpetrator.
The difficulty with a crime of passion is that there is passion involved. When things are going good, then it feels like a relationship can be fixed. Promises are made, vows are offered, and life seems pretty good. Then, in the fraction of a second, everything can change. That’s why crimes of passion are so devastating. In the blink of an eye, life changes for everyone, and sometimes it’s just a momentary lack of control.
What Are The Consequences?
- In New York City, 1 in 4 homeless households became homeless because of domestic violence or crimes of passion.
- 6 out of 10 crimes occur in the home.
- Unless crimes of passion end violently, most incidents are never reported to a law enforcement official.
- Girls who witness a crime of passion are more likely to be abused as teens or adults, especially when they are unable to receive any counseling.
- Boys, on the other hand, are more likely to become perpetrators.
- When domestic violence is included in crimes of passion statistics, the annual cost to the US economy in dealing with this issue is $37 billion.
Crimes of passion might be spontaneous and seem like a good idea at the time, but these crimes have a devastating effect on everyone and everything. When children survive, they have a high chance of becoming victims or perpetrators. People become homeless because others are unable to control their emotions and try to lash out to the one set of people who they feel are safe and will not punish them for the outburst.