Firearm suicide is a serious consequence of firearm proliferation and an aspect of armed violence. It constitutes a major health problem in Western cultures and an emerging issue in low-income countries.
Although public perception generally associates firearms with interpersonal violence, in Europe and North America firearm suicides outnumber firearm homicides. More than half of the global total of such suicides (52 per cent) are committed in North America, whereas 15 per cent occur in Western Europe, 14 per cent in South America, and 19 per cent in the rest of the world.
While many factors can contribute to suicide patterns, the most important appear to be the opportunity and the availability of technical means, and their social acceptability.
Firearm Suicides, a new Research Note by the Small Arms Survey and the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, summarizes key research issues related to the topic and includes data from the Small Arms Survey Multisource Database on Armed Violence.
- Download the Research Note Firearm Suicides
- More on non-conflict armed violence
- See also ‘A Matter of Survival: Non-lethal Firearm Violence’ in Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets
- See also ‘When the Victim Is a Woman’ in the Global Burden of Armed Violence: Lethal Encounters
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