Violence in St. Kitts and Nevis: A Retrospective Analysis of Homicides 2000-2018

Author: ORCID icon
Kumodzi, Trina, Nursing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Williams, Ishan, NR-Nursing, University of Virginia
Kools, Susan, NR-Nursing: Faculty, University of Virginia
Pannone, Aaron, MD-PBHS Public Health Sciences Admin, University of Virginia
Richardson, Jeanita, MD-PBHS Public Health Sciences Admin, University of Virginia

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN), the smallest independent nation in the Americas, is classified as a high-income country with the highest annual per capita income in the Caribbean and the third highest homicide rate in the region. The fiscal, clinical, and social burdens of homicidal violence are formidable given the nation’s small population and as a result in need of assessment. Furthermore, the per capita homicide rates for Caribbean nations of similar population size are lower. Population-level incidence rates stratified by gender, parish, motive, age, and homicide location are not available, revealing a significant knowledge gap on a dangerous escalating trend. The broad goal of this program of research was to increase understanding of the direct and indirect effects of violence on human health and well-being through research, advocacy, and policy. The current research study aligned with the broad goal because it created a public health surveillance dataset useful to the Federation in developing policy initiatives. There was no dataset documenting homicidal incidence/prevalence rates, which is essential to understanding and minimizing the burden of homicidal violence in a two-island nation of approximately 55,000 people. To address the knowledge gap, this study’s major objective was to utilize the retrospective data from two data sources (the police narratives of the violent incidents housed at each island’s police headquarters) to determine the prevalence and distribution of homicidal violence, characterize the epidemiology of homicidal violence by gender and parish location, and examine what increases or decreases risk of homicidal death. With the conclusion of the study, similar methods may be scaled for implementation in other countries with similar challenges regarding violence.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
violence prevention, structural violence, nursing, public health surveillance
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