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Impact of the Tunisian Revolution on homicide and suicide rates in Tunisia

Abstract

Objectives

To analyze the impact of the Tunisian Revolution on suicide and homicide patterns in Tunisia.

Methods

It is a retrospective, cross-sectional study, including all the cases of homicides and suicides that occurred during an 8-year period (2007–2014) in Northern Tunisia. We compared data before and after the revolution.

Results

After the revolution, the number of suicides rose 1.7 times, with a prevalence rising from 1.8 to 3.12 suicides per 100,000 persons per year. Homicides rose 1.3 times after the revolution. For both manner of death, victims were mostly males, aged between 20 and 39 years, living in urban areas. Hanging and self-immolation rose, respectively, 1.8 and 3 times after 2011. We observed suicide cases most frequently occurred in public places and in front of public administration after 2011. Homicide victims’ profile and circumstances showed a single variation which is an increase in number of cases happening in rural areas.

Conclusions

Our results proved a short-term impact of the transition period on homicides and suicides. Urgent preventive measures are needed especially to decrease the suicide rates.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Mrs. Jihene Gharbaoui and Mr Slim Guizani for their valuable help in the manuscript English editing.

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Correspondence to Mehdi Ben Khelil.

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Ben Khelil, M., Gharbaoui, M., Farhani, F. et al. Impact of the Tunisian Revolution on homicide and suicide rates in Tunisia. Int J Public Health 61, 995–1002 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-016-0834-8

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Keywords

  • Suicide
  • Homicide
  • Tunisian revolution
  • Media
  • Unemployment