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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

No effect of unemployment on intimate partner-related femicide during the financial crisis: a longitudinal ecological study in Spain

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
J. Torrubiano-Domínguez, C. Vives-Cases, M. San-Sebastián, B. Sanz-Barbero, I. Goicolea, C. Álvarez-Dardet
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

JTD and CV drafted the manuscript and participated in the design of the study. IG helped to draft the manuscript. JTD performed the statistical analysis. CV and JTD performed the interpretation of the results. MSS and BS helped in the design of the study and also helped in statistical analysis and interpretation of the results. CA conceived of the study, and helped in its design. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. The content of the paper was critically and constructively revised by all authors concerned, who each gave important input on an equal footing. Their approval has been given to both the final version for publication and previous drafts.

Authors’ information

This paper will be used as part of Jordi Torrubiano-Domínguez’s PhD training program and dissertation at the University of Alicante, Spain.



Spain’s financial crisis has been characterized by an increase in unemployment. This increase could have produced an increase in deaths of women due to intimate partner-related femicides (IPF). This study aims to determine whether the increase in unemployment among both sexes in different regions in Spain is related to an increase in the rates of IPF during the current financial crisis period.


An ecological longitudinal study was carried out in Spain’s 17 regions. Two study periods were defined: pre-crisis period (2005–2007) and crisis period (2008–2013). IPF rates adjusted by age and unemployment rates for men and women were calculated. We fitted multilevel linear regression models in which observations at level 1 were nested within regions according to a repeated measurements design.


Rates of unemployment have progressively increased in Spain, rising above 20 % from 2008 to 2013 in some regions. IPF rates decreased in some regions during crisis period with respect to pre-crisis period. The multilevel analysis does not support the existence of a significant relationship between the increase in unemployment in men and women and the decrease in IPF since 2008.


The increase in unemployment in men and women in Spain does not appear to have an effect on IPF. The results of the multilevel analysis discard the hypothesis that the increase in the rates of unemployment in women and men are related to an increase in IPF rates.


The decline in IPF since 2008 might be interpreted as the result of exposure to other factors such as the lower frequency of divorces in recent years or the medium term effects of the integral protection measures of the law on gender violence that began in 2005.
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