Naeemah Abrahams et al.
Forensic medicine has been largely by-passed by the tide of health systems research and evidence based medicine. Murder victims form a central part of forensic medical examiners’ case load, and women murdered by intimate partners are an important subgroup, representing the most severe form and consequence of intimate partner violence. Our aim was to describe the epidemiology of female murder in South Africa (by intimate and non-intimate partners); and to describe and compare autopsy findings, forensic medical management of cases and the contribution of these to legal outcomes.
We did a retrospective national study in a proportionate random sample of 25 medico-legal laboratories to identify all homicides in 1999 of women aged 14 years and over. Data were abstracted from the mortuary file and autopsy report, and collected from a police interview.