The European Homicide-Suicide Study (EHSS)

Short Introduction

Homicide followed by the suicide of the perpetrator (short: HS) is a rare yet very serious form of interpersonal violence in which two different types of aggression occur together. As HS are not recorded in official crime statistics, in most countries not even the yearly incidence of cases and victims is known. By far the largest number of cases happens within families and intimate partnerships, whereas extra-familial HS (including spectacular events as school shootings or suicide bombings) are much rarer. A large share of child victims of homicide is killed by their parents in HS events.

The ‘European Homicide-Suicide Study’ (EHSS) started in 2006 as a collaborative project including seven European countries with the aim to put criminological research on HS on a new and more solid basis. The empirical cornerstone of this project is the collection of complete national samples of HS cases covering a whole decade (ca. 1996 to 2005). The resulting uniform dataset contains detailed information on perpetrators, victims and events and allows for the systematic and cross-national analysis of many relevant research questions. With nearly 2000 cases of HS, it is the largest sample of its kind world-wide.

Study Progress and Results

The EHSS is an ongoing project. Data collections have been finished in most countries by the time this website has been updated (Spring 2008), but analyses have still to be carried out and will then be published and reported on this site as the project proceeds.
  • Last update: 16 July 2015
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