*****There is a trigger warning on this blog.
“Suicide by cop” is a term used by law enforcement officers to describe an incident in which a suicidal individual intentionally engages in life-threatening and criminal behavior with a lethal weapon or what appears to be a lethal weapon toward law enforcement officers or civilians to specifically provoke officers to shoot the suicidal individual in self-defense or to protect civilians (Hudson et al, 1998)
“Suicide by murder” is a concept I have been exploring since 2015 after a young man I supported in the prison estate was murdered shortly after release. It is a subject I would like to do more research on and hopefully this blog will help me do so.
“Suicide by murder” is when a person, in my field normally a young man, puts themselves in a position to be murdered as a means of death by suicide. In these particular homicides, we see the young man partaking in risky behaviours like taking weapons into their “op block” or running up on other young men with weapons in very dangerous situations, which then results in them being murdered on the scene or within the following weeks.
We could also say…
“Suicide by murder” is a term used to describe an incident in which a suicidal individual intentionally engages in life-threatening and criminal behavior with a lethal weapon or what appears to be a lethal weapon to specifically provoke their peers to kill the suicidal individual in self-defense or to protect others.
I am not saying that this is conscious suicidal behaviour; many of the young men I have previously worked with, especially those in the prison estate have experienced complex trauma and show signed of PTSD and cPTSD. One of the main symptoms of cPTSD is suicidal thoughts, feelings and tendencies, which can be an unconscious process.
In relation to research around death by suicide, I believe we tend to see it through a white lens but also possibly a class lens. What if we changed that lens? Could we see an aspect of youth violence and homicides as death by suicide due to undealt with mental health issues? Especially when thinking about young black men, who in general, society like to see as “bad” not “mad”?
These are still muddled thoughts of mine that I would like to prove or disprove. I mean no harm nor do I wish to offend anyone. If you have heard of anything like this before could you please let me know or send me links to the research. If you would be interesting in funding research around this or partnering with me to do some research please get in touch.
P.S I have purposely left this article quite brief as it is a big subject but I will writing more thoroughly on it at a later date.