Police lights.  Photo by Chris Stone
Police lights. Photo by Chris Stone

Domestic violence was the second most common cause of homicide in San Diego County last year, behind arguments but ahead of gang activity, according to an official report released Thursday.

The report on violent crime by SANDAG identifies variations over the years in the rate of homicide tied to domestic violence, ranging from a low of 16 percent in 2008 to a high of 30 percent in 2011.

Causes of homicides in 2013 from the SANDAG report.

“Countywide, females were more likely to be murdered as a result of domestic violence, while males were more often a homicide victim due to an argument, robbery, or gang-related incident,” said Dr. Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s criminal justice research director.

Other key findings from the report include the following:

  • Some 83 percent of female homicide victims were murdered by a spouse, intimate partner or family member, compared to 16 percent of males.
  • Domestic violence was more often the primary factor when a victim was Hispanic.
  • While women aged 18 to 24 make up only 12 percent of the regional population, they comprise 34 percent of rape victims.
  • Forty-two percent of rape suspects are age 25 to 39, although this age group makes up only 22 percent of the region’s population.

In addition to domestic violence and rape statistics, the report provides insights on how different ethnic groups and age groups are affected by different types of crime.

SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments, is the regional planning agency for San Diego County and its 18 cities.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.