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Intra-familial child homicide in Finland 1970-1994: Incidence, causes of death and demographic characteristics

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate all child homicides for the 25-year period, 1970-1994 in Finland and to analyse the specific characteristics of the filicide cases. A total of 292 child homicides occurred during this period. In 201 (69%) cases the offender was a parent or a stepparent of the child. Altogether, 173 (59%) of the victims were boys and 119 (41%) were girls. For the closer examination of the filicide cases we excluded the neonaticide and homicide-suicide cases. Consequently, we report on 70 filicide victims. Of these victims, 42 (60%) were boys and 28 (40%) were girls. Twenty six (37%) of the children were killed before the age of 1 year and 53 (79%) before the age of 5 years. The offender was the mother in 43 (61%) cases and the father or the stepfather in 26 (37%) cases. The victims of the mothers were younger than those of the fathers. The most frequent causes of death were head injuries, drowning and suffocation. The most common means of assault were battering, drowning and strangulation. One in two of the fatally battered children had a documented history of previous abuse.

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... Por lo general, la mayoría de los asesinatos de niños son cometidos por sus propios progenitores; las muertes de tipo extrafamiliar son aún más excepcionales (Stanton et al., 2000;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto y Rasanen, 2001). Resnick (1969) comprobó que la información sobre el asesinato de niños no era infrecuente en la bibliografía psiquiátrica, aunque no existían artículos específi cos al respecto, por lo que revisó los fi licidios documentados desde 1751 hasta 1967, encontrando numerosos artículos de interés sobre 155 casos, de los cuales 131 (88 fi licidios maternos y 43 paternos) correspondían a su defi nición de fi licidio y los 24 restantes al concepto de neonaticidio. ...
... Entre los varones fi licidas el método más habitual consiste en ocasionar lesiones en la cabeza del menor (tabla 3). Estos datos han sido reencontrados en estudios posteriores (Stanton y Simpson, 2002;Vanamo et al., 2001;Yamauchi et al., 2000). ...
... Aunque históricamente el hecho de ser niña (vid. supra) ha supuesto un riesgo de fi licidio, la variable del sexo no se considera un factor determinante (Resnick, 1969;Vanamo et al., 2001) en la actualidad. Respecto de la variable de edad, se debe decir que los niños más pequeños, en especial los menores de seis meses, son los que están en mayor riesgo de ser víctimas de un fi licidio (Nixon, Pearn, Wilkey y Petrie, 1981;Resnick, 1969;Stanton y Simpson, 2002;Vanamo et al., 2001), ya que durante este periodo existe mayor probabilidad de que la madre desarrolle alguna psicopatología, sin obviar que, a menor edad del niño, es más probable que si la madre presenta ideación suicida también piense en cometer un fi licidio altruista (Resnick, 1969). ...
... It was unusual for mothers to beat their children to death (5.9%). Drowning and suffocation were also presented as the most frequent causes of death in maternal filicide (43%) in a study by Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, and Räsänen (2001). Krischer, Stone, Sevecke, and Steinmeyer (2007) suggested that neonaticide was most often committed by suffocation, while filicide was strongly associated with shooting and stabbing. ...
... Most common methods of filicide included the use of firearm (34%) and battery (22%). Vanamo et al. (2001), on the other hand, reported head injuries as the most frequent cause of death among paternal filicide victims. ...
... As mentioned earlier, the mean age of paternal victims was statistically significantly higher than the mean age of maternal victims (Liem & Koenraadt, 2008;Putkonen et al., 2011;Vanamo et al., 2001). Male offenders were also found to be older than their female counterparts (Mariano et al., 2014). ...
... Pour autant, chacune d'elles emprunte un angle d'attaque propre marqué par sa sémantique ce qui induit une grande hétérogénéité dans l'acception du fait filicide-suicide. Cette hétérogénéité s'exprime tant au 35 Coid, 1983 ;Marzuk et al, 1995 ;Bouvet, 2007 ;Morton et al, 1998 ;Putkonen et al, 2009 ;Somander et Rammer, 1991 ;Krugh et al, 2002 ;Allen, 1983 ;Dalley, 2000 ;Vanamo et al, 2001 ;Campanelli et Gilson, 2002 ;Wilczynski, 1997 ;Flynn et al, 2007Flynn et al, et 2009Palmer et al, 1980 ;Lecomte et al, 1998 ;Chan et al, 2003 ;Logan et al, 2008 ;Byard et al, 1999 ;Shackelford et al, 2005 ;Comstock et al, 2005 ;Resnick, 1969 ;d'Orban, 1979 ;Marleau et al, 1999 ;Adinkrah, 2003 ;Bourget et Gagné, 2005 ;Bourget et al, 2007 ;Liem and Koenraadt, 2008 ;Spinelli, 2001 ;Harris et al, 2007 ;Temrin et al, 2000Temrin et al, et 2004Oberman, 2003 ;Felthous et Hempel, 1995 ;Hanzlick et Koponen, 1994) ; Collins et al, 2001 ;Gross, 2008 ;Dubé et al, 2004. 36 Le familicide se définit par la mort de l'ensemble des membres de la famille du fait d'un autre membre. ...
... C'est encore une approche sanitaire, dans une dimension médicolégale, mais c'est aussi de la criminalistique voire de la criminologie si l'on souhaite étudier une variabilité en fonction du genre de l'auteur par exemple. 56 Vanamo et al, 2001 ;Krischer et al, 2007. Ces facteurs sont qualifiés d'extérieurs ou d'apparents parce que subjectifs, surdéterminés ou défensifs. ...
... Le rôle du lien familial dans la survenue du suicide secondaire à l'homicide 69 a été également analysé. Des études de l'homicide-suicide ont eu pour objectif d'interpréter le mode opératoire selon une perspective psychodynamique 70 Vanamo et al (2001), bien que précisant que le critère d'inclusion du filicide était l'âge de moins de 14 ans pour la victime, ont exclu le néonaticide car il constitue, pour eux, une catégorie en soi et à part. 74 Felthous et Hempel, 1995 ;Logan et al, 2008 ;Hatters Friedman et al, 2005. ...
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Filicide-suicide is defined as the death of a child inflicted by a parent which is followed by his suicide. Its specificity is established by a criminological literature almost exclusively Anglo- Saxon and Scandinavian. Initially, our research project aimed to study the “French” filicidesuicide according to a criminological perspective. Filicide-suicide associates in France as elsewhere, homicide, crime, and suicide, not offense. The “judicial” is seized at the stage of investigation, which resulted dismisses penalization. The medical notes and certifies deaths without establishing a link between them. Victim(s) and author remain forever strangers, even though the death had brought them together. The initial project had taken a new direction. Unlike Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian studies, in France, any research attempting to approach the filicide-suicide faces, from the exploratory approaches, the collection of useful and relevant data for analysis. Therefore, our thesis focused on exploring the conditions of research in criminology in France based on the example of filicide-suicide, as demonstrative
... A considerable amount of research has already been conducted on child homicides perpetrated by parents. [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] (The term parent is used throughout this article, although "parents" can be any legal guardians.) The parent's motives in these events were initially classified into 5 categories, based on a framework developed by Resnick in 1969. ...
... For example, paternal perpetrators have been found to have more violent driven motives (eg, to abuse or to retaliate against an intimate partner) [10][11][12] and to use more violent mechanisms or methods to commit the homicide (eg, firearm, sharp object, strangulation). 10,12 Paternal perpetrators have also been associated with killing older children 5,13 and committing familicide. 2,7,10,13 Maternal perpetrators have been found to have altruistic motives, to have mental disorders (eg, schizophrenia/psychoses, major depression), and to use less lethal/violent means of killing, such as drug poisoning. ...
... 10,12 Paternal perpetrators have also been associated with killing older children 5,13 and committing familicide. 2,7,10,13 Maternal perpetrators have been found to have altruistic motives, to have mental disorders (eg, schizophrenia/psychoses, major depression), and to use less lethal/violent means of killing, such as drug poisoning. 5,10,14 Maternal perpetrators have also been found to more likely commit neonaticide. ...
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To describe homicide-followed-by-suicide incidents involving child victims Methods: Using 2003-2009 National Violent Death Reporting System data, we characterized 129 incidents based on victim and perpetrator demographic information, their relationships, the weapons/mechanisms involved, and the perpetrators' health and stress-related circumstances. These incidents accounted for 188 child deaths; 69% were under 11 years old, and 58% were killed with a firearm. Approximately 76% of perpetrators were males, and 75% were parents/caregivers. Eighty-one percent of incidents with paternal perpetrators and 59% with maternal perpetrators were preceded by parental discord. Fifty-two percent of incidents with maternal perpetrators were associated with maternal psychiatric problems. Strategies that resolve parental conflicts rationally and facilitate detection and treatment of parental mental conditions might help prevention efforts.
... Empirical evidence concerning paternal filicide suggests that, contrary to maternal filicide, the victims of fathers are often older children. Also, paternal filicide offenders appear to be much more likely than their maternal counterparts to commit or attempt suicide afterwards (Hatters-Friedman, Horwitz, & Resnick, 2005;L eveill ee et al., 2007;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & R€ as€ anen, 2001), which is also the case in the present study. ...
... Although filicidal fathers are more often diagnosed with alcohol and drug abuse and/or dependence (Putkonen et al., 2011;West et al., 2009), the offender discussed here had no history of substance abuse nor was he intoxicated during the offence. According to research findings, paternal filicide would also frequently take place in a context of prior domestic violence (Bourget, Grace, & Whitehurst, 2007;Jaffe, Campbell, Olszowy, & Hamilton, 2014) and prior abuse would be an indicator of risk of filicide (Browne & Lynch, 1995;Vanamo et al., 2001;Wilczynski, 1997), particularly when the abuse is perpetrated by the father (Bourget & Gagn e, 2002;Putkonen et al., 2011;Wilczynski, 1997). Yet, there was no history of domestic violence or of child abuse in the present case. ...
Article
Although evidence with respect to its prevalence is mixed, it is clear that fathers perpetrate a serious proportion of filicide. There also seems to be a consensus that paternal filicide has attracted less research attention than its maternal counterpart and is therefore less well understood. National registries are a very rich source of data, but they generally provide limited information about the perpetrator as psychiatric, psychological and behavioral data are often lacking. This paper presents a fully documented case of a paternal filicide. Noteworthy is that two motives were present: spousal revenge as well as altruism. The choice of the victim was in line with emerging evidence indicating that children with disabilities in general and with autism in particular are frequent victims of filicide-suicide. Finally, a schizoid personality disorder was diagnosed. Although research is quite scarce on that matter, some research outcomes have showed an association between schizoid personality disorder and homicide and violence.
... Samsun il merkezindeki 0-18 yafl grubu cinayet olgu-lar›na ait verilerin de¤erlendirildi¤i bu çal›flmada olgula-r›n sadece 4'ü k›zd›r, bunlar›n da tümü 14 yafl ve alt›nda-d›r. Benzer çal›flmalar ile uyumlu olarak olgular›n büyük bir k›sm›n›n (14/18 olgu) erkek ve en fazla olgunun (11/18 olgu) 16-18 yafl grubunda oldu¤u saptanm›flt›r (9,12,(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18). Erkek çocuklar k›zlara oranla daha aktif bir yaflam sürmekte ve fliddet eylemlerine belirgin flekilde yatk›nl›k göstermektedirler (19). ...
... Merrick ve arkadafl›na (22) göre; 0-3 yafl grubundaki çocuklarda cinayetler ço¤unlukla aile içi, 12 yafl›ndan büyük çocuklarda ise ço¤unlukla aile d›fl› kiflilerce gerçeklefltirilmektedir. Lyman ve arkadafllar› (23), 5 yafl ve al-t›ndaki cinayet olgular›n›n %89,3'ünde, Bennett ve arka-dafllar› da (16), 4 yafl ve alt›ndaki olgular›n›n %96,9'unda failin anne-baba, bak›c›, akraba ya da tan›¤› di¤er bir kifli oldu¤unu belirtmifllerdir. Ondört yafl ve alt›ndaki cinayet olgular›n›n %74 ile %77'sinde failin çocu¤un anne-babas›, kardefli, akrabas›, bak›c›s› gibi tan›d›¤› birisi oldu-¤u rapor edilmifltir (13,24). Moskowitz ve arkadafllar› (15), 0-19 yafl cinayetlerinde kurbanlar›n %57,7'sinin ta-n›d›¤›, %13'ünün de yabanc› herhangi bir kifli taraf›ndan öldürülmüfl oldu¤unu, olgular›n %29'unda kurban-fail aras›ndaki iliflkinin bilinmedi¤ini, Hagelstam ve arkadafl› da (25), adölesan cinayetlerinde olgular›n %58'inde failin tan›d›¤› birisi, %12'sinde aile üyesi, %5'inde yak›n arka-dafl›, %25'inde de yabanc› birisi oldu¤unu bildirmifllerdir. ...
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As a global public health problem, every kind of violence is seen all over the world. More than one million people die and much more than that are injured every year as a result of selfinfliction, interpersonal or collective violence. Children and young people are also influenced by violence. According to the data in 2000, 199.000 (9.2 in 100.000) young people are murdered, and approximately 565 children, adolescents and adults between ages 10 and 29 are reported to be dead due to violence daily. In this study, it is aimed at arriving at some implications about childhood murders by evaluating the murder cases of 0-18 age groups in Samsun provincial centre. Entries in Samsun Law Court are examined retrospectively, and data belonging to 18 murder cases of 0-18 age group committed in Centre of Samsun High Criminal Distria during 10 years (1998-2007) is evaluated. 77.8% (14/18 cases) of the cases are male and the majority of the cases (11/18 cases) are seen in 16-18 age group. The suspea is not found in two cases; but the mother in two cases, the father in one case, the friends, relatives or the neighbors in eight cases and unknown people in five cases are reached as suspects. Only in two cases the event leading to death occurred at home. Firearms or stabbing weapons are most commonly used (12/18 cases). The number of the cases in which the murdered and the suspect had an argument before the murder is 11. As individuals and society, it is vital that we take the essential precautions and that we must strive for diminishing the social violence to protect the child’s right to live and to lead his/ her life healthily. Key words: Childhood, murder
... All the patients were evaluated with the Glasgow coma scale (GCS [3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]) and modified scale for non-verbal children. Post-surgical management and conservative management of the outcome were measured with the Glasgow outcome scale (1)(2)(3)(4)(5). ...
... [4,7] Some reports on childhood death and morbidity due to domestic/street abuses and parental neglect with a high percentage of the death attributed to abusive head trauma. [10][11][12] A survey from 23 states in USA found out that, among 49,947 child deaths, 30% had abusive TBI that accounted for 60% of the physical abuse. [23] There are reports on childhood TBI from African and other developing communities with a high rate of mortality and morbidity; [2][3][4][5][6][7] however, distribution of TBI due to abusive trauma is not documented. ...
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Childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) has high rate of mortality and morbidity worldwide. There are dearths of reports from developing countries with large paediatric population on trauma; neurosurgery trauma of nonaccidental origin is not an exemption. This study analysed menace of non-accidental TBI in the paediatric population from our center. This is a single unit, retrospective study of the epidemiology of non-accidental TBI in children starting from September, 2008 to March, 2014. The management outcomes of the epidemiology of the non-accidental TBI were analysed. Total of 109 children age range from 0 (intra-natal) to 16 years with a mean of 5.8 ± 4.6 years (median, 5 years) were enrolled into the study. 34 (31.2%) were domestic violence, 26 (23.9%) street assaults, 16 (14.7%) were due to animal assaults and mishaps, 17 (15.6%) fall from heights. Seven (6.4%) cases of collapsed buildings were also seen during the period. Four (3.7%) industrial accidents and two (1.8%) were self-inflicted injuries. There were also three (2.8%) cases of iatrogenic TBI out of which two infants (1.8%) sustained TBI from cesarean section procedure while one patient (0.9%) under general anaesthesia felt from the operation bed resulting to severe TBI. Child abuse, unprotected child labour, parental/care-givers negligence are the main cause of nonaccidental TBI. Human right activists and government agents should be incorporated in curtailing the menace.
... 6 The cause of death is mainly head injury, followed by drowning and suffocation. 7 The city of Cairo is densely populated and considered the 10th largest mega city in the world. 8 The issue of child homicide needs to be studied in such a large population. ...
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Crimes towards children have drawn public attention over the decades. Several studies have been conducted to determine the risk factors of victimizing children. Conducting studies of this crime in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, would help in understanding the motives behind it in such a densely populated area. A review of death charts was conducted in Zeinhom morgue in the years of 2006-2010 to study the trends and characteristics of child homicide in Cairo. The cut-off for a child age was at 18 years. Data related to the victim and offender was collected. Child homicides represented 7.97% of total child deaths in the studied period. Most of them (25%) fall in the age group of 1-6 years. Females were the majority in the age group of 12-18 years (89%). The offender was the father in 28% of cases and the cause of death was mainly trauma to the head (42%). Further studies should be conducted to discern the risk factors of this crime in Cairo with special considerations to the motives behind murdering females in teen ages.
... Another branch of research focuses on event and perpetrator characteristics of child homicide. The majority of these studies tend to rely on forensic-psychiatric data, stemming from forensic hospitals and connected universities, and are conducted in countries such as England and Wales (Wilczynski 1997), Finland (Vanamo et al. 2001), the Netherlands (Liem and Koenraadt 2008), and Denmark (Laursen et al. 2011). Again, similar to psychotic homicide and intimate partner homicide, there is an absence of studies that include data from multiple countries that allow for comparisons. ...
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Europe does not have a long tradition of studying the trends, patterns and explanations of homicide. Recent initiatives, however, have begun to systematically address homicide and homicide research in Europe. This contribution builds on these new developments, providing an overview of contemporary homicide research in Europe, by addressing (1) an overview of prior and current research on homicide in Europe; (2) a description of the geographical and historical variation of homicide throughout the European continent; and (3) ways in which future research may contribute in moving forward the field of European homicide research.
... Os autores consideram que a morte inesperada, no seio de uma família abusiva, deve levar a que se considere seriamente o filicídio. A investigação mostra que uma em cada duas crianças que morrem por espancamento tem uma história de abuso prévio documentada (Vanamo, Kauppi, karkola, Merikanto, & Rasanen, 2001). Scott (1973) afirma que é contudo extremamente raro um pai matar uma filha que abusa sexualmente, independentemente da idade da criança; embora esta situação possa ser mais frequente com filhas mais velhas, sendo o motivo silenciar a vítima. ...
Article
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This article is a review of the literature about filicide. It defines filicide legally and psychologically and refers its incidence in different countries. It also mentions environmental, parental and victim related factors that can contribute to the understanding of this phenomenon. Neonaticide is highlighted for having specific characteristics which distinguishes it from other filicide cases.
... Much of the literature reviewed in this section relies on data from US cases, though several scholars have focused on international cases and reported findings similar to US studies. Daly and Wilson (1994) analyzed filicide data from Canadian and British cases; Marleau, Poulin, Webanck, Roy, and Laporte (1999) studied cases of filicidal fathers who were all patients at a Canadian psychiatric facility; Gagne (2002, 2005) studied cases of maternal filicide and paternal filicide separately in Quebec, Canada; Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, and Rasanen (2001) examined filicide cases in Finland; and Valenca, Mendlowicz, Nascimento, and Nardi (2011) provide a qualitative analysis of two Brazilian cases. Noting the limited number of filicide studies in non-Western nations, Adinkrah (2001Adinkrah ( , 2003 examined cases in Fiji. ...
Article
Although mothers and fathers are equally likely to kill their children, maternal filicide cases tend to draw more media coverage and community outrage. While traditional gender role expectations appear to contribute to the community response that follows a report of filicide – and influence media representations – little is known about the offenders’ treatment in the criminal justice system. Drawing on theorizing within gender studies, this article examines relationships between traditional gender role expectations and court case outcomes in cases of maternal and paternal filicide. Findings indicate that both verdicts and sentences in these cases vary by gender and that, for female offenders, the differential treatment is related to how well they appear to fit traditional gender roles.
... Für Ersticken finden sich je nach Population und Studie Raten von 18-50% (Bourget & Gagne, 2002;Lewis & Bunce, 2003;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). Die Tötungsmethoden Erschlagen und Schütteln kommen mit 17-45% vor allem in Zusammenhang mit tödlichen Kindsmisshandlungen (Liem & Koenraadt, 2008;. ...
... The sample, ethical approval and methods are presented in our previous publications. 27,30,31 . ...
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A parent who continuously physically abuses her/his child doesn't aim to kill the child but commits an accidental filicide in a more violent outburst of anger. Fatal abuse deaths are prevented by recognition of signs of battering in time. Out of 200 examined intra-familial filicides, 23 (12%) were caused by child battering and 13 (7%) by continuous battering. The medical and court records of the victim and the perpetrator were examined. The perpetrator was the biological mother and the victim was male in 69 per cent of the cases. The abused children were either younger than one year or from two-and-a-half to four years old. Risk factors of the victim (being unwanted, premature birth, separation from the parent caused by hospitalization or custodial care, being ill and crying a lot) and the perpetrator (personality disorder, low socioeconomic status, chaotic family conditions, domestic violence, isolation, alcohol abuse) were common. The injuries caused by previous battering were mostly soft tissue injuries in head and limbs and head traumas and the battering lasted for days or even an year. The final assault was more violent and occurred when the parent was more anxious, frustrated or left alone with the child. The perpetrating parent was diagnosed as having a personality disorder (borderline, narcissistic or dependent) and often substance dependence (31%). None of them were psychotic. Authorities and community members should pay attention to the change in child's behavior and inexplicable injuries or absence from daycare. Furthermore if the parent is immature, alcohol dependent, have a personality disorder and is unable to cope with the demands the small child entails in the parent's life, the child may be in danger.
... This variation also gives rise to the question of whether statistical infanticide trends actually describe the same phenomenon, for example in countries with a high neonaticide percentage, where women commit the overwhelming majority of the crimes, and in countries with a low neonaticide percentage, where the majority of victims are killed by men (Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001;West, Friedman, & Resnick, 2009). It seems reasonable in the first group of countries to seek explanations for infanticide rate changes from, for example, the changes in women's position in society and public maternal care; and in the second group, the changes in fathers' positions, especially regarding the trends of violent acts committed by men against their children, would seem to be a more fruitful explanation. ...
Article
The term ‘infanticide’ refers to the homicide of a child younger than one year old. In this article, we describe infanticide trends in 28 industrialized countries between 1960 and 2009. The analysis is based on the cause of death data from the WHO Mortality Database and national materials. The purpose is to compare those trends in all these 28 countries not to compare countries per se. Cause of death statistics are based on ICD classification. During the review period, ICD classification changed three times. In addition to describing infanticide trends, we will analyse the impact of those changes on statistical infanticide levels, to be sure that changes in trends could be seen as real, not statistical artefacts. According to our analysis, the change from ICD-7 to ICD-9 in 1968-1970 seems to have had some impact on registered infanticide mortality levels in three of the studied countries. In other countries, the changes did not have any general impact on registered infanticide levels. During the period, infanticide rates decreased in almost all European countries, and increased or were stable in most non-European industrialized countries. Even in Europe, there were significant differences in the decreasing trend between countries. We also found some structural variation behind the trend figures, which raised the question of whether the aggregated infanticide levels really describe an identical phenomenon in different countries.
... There are many case reports where a mother or father killed their own child and then commit suicide (Flynn, Shaw, & Abel, 2007;Guddat, Schalinski, Püschel, Tsokos, & Schulz, 2007;Gupta & Gambhir, 2008;Haapasalo & Petäjä, 1999;Rougé-Maillart, Jousset, Gaudin, Bouju, & Penneau, 2005;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). The parental killing of children constitutes a complex phenomenon which has been reported across numerous cultures and throughout history. ...
... Especially the number of children killed under 12 months of age has decreased steeply, from 75 children between the years 1950 and 1954, to three children between the years 2000 and 2004 (Ellonen et al., 2007, p. 22). Another study shows that between 1970 and 1994, 16 children were fatally battered in Finland (Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). Half of those children had a documented history of previous abuse. ...
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In 1983 Finland became the second country in the world, after Sweden, to adopt a law prohibiting all kinds of physical punishment towards children, also by parents. The present investigation was carried out in 2011, 28 years after the law was adopted. Changes in exposure to various types of physical punishment towards respondents born between 1931 and 1996 are presented. A representative sample from Western Finland, consisting of 4,609 respondents (2,632 females, 1,977 males) between 15 and 80 years, filled in a paper‐and‐pencil questionnaire. A number of psychosocial concomitants were measured. The results showed a significant drop in reports of being slapped and beaten with an object among respondents who were born after the law was adopted. The decline in physical punishment was associated with a similar decline in the number of murdered children. Respondents who had been exposed to higher amounts of physical punishment than average scored significantly higher on alcohol abuse, depression, mental health problems, and schizotypal personality. Divorced respondents had been significantly more physically punished than others. Respondents who had attempted suicide during the last 12 months had been exposed to physical punishment during childhood significantly more often than those who had not attempted suicide. Aggr. Behav. 40:568–581, 2014. © 2014 Wiley
... The fact that filicide is a comparatively rare crime internationally (the numbers are small even in highly populated countries) makes these higher Australian instances of men killing their children a concern for researchers in criminology. Compared to other developed countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, more children in Australia die at the hands of a parent or parental figure, and more are killed by their father or stepfather (Hatters Friedman, Hrouda, Holden, Noffsinger, & Resnick, 2005;Pritchard, Davey, & Williams, 2013;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). Recent research on the still little understood spike in paternal filicide in Australia corresponds with European and American studies identifying gender-related gaps in knowledge about the crime. ...
... The fact that filicide is a comparatively rare crime internationally (the numbers are small even in highly populated countries) makes these higher Australian instances of men killing their children a concern for researchers in criminology. Compared to other developed countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, more children in Australia die at the hands of a parent or parental figure, and more are killed by their father or stepfather (Hatters Friedman, Hrouda, Holden, Noffsinger, & Resnick, 2005;Pritchard, Davey, & Williams, 2013;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). Recent research on the still little understood spike in paternal filicide in Australia corresponds with European and American studies identifying gender-related gaps in knowledge about the crime. ...
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Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing a child. Despite its low occurrence, filicide is one of the most emotive offenses for a public audience. The murder of a child by their own parent challenges many of our fundamental expectations about the role of parenthood, prompting a sense of horror, outrage, and deep distress: It violates the idea of parental instincts as a protection for children. While maternal and paternal filicide is committed in roughly equal numbers, historically, filicide has been regarded as a female crime. However, media coverage of mothers who commit filicide differs from coverage of fathers who commit the same crime. Infanticidal mothers in particular have a long history of being demonized by the media and in popular culture. Research shows that this is partly because such events shatter expected feminine and maternal norms. Despite the considerable body of scholarly work conducted in this area of crime and media culture, there were few studies of filicide in Australia until recently. As a consequence, the media’s portrayal of these tragic cases is to treat them as “inexplicable” while also attempting to find an explanation, most often through stereotyping, simplification, or rationalization.
... Thus, male offenders were found more likely to have previous criminal history than female offenders. This accords with the research findings based on the Western samples (study on the Finnish sample by Haakkaanen-Nyholm et al., 2009; study on the U.S. sample Jurik & Winn, 1990;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). The approach to the offence also varied between genders: For example, male offenders were more likely to bring weapons to the crime scene and to steal property from their victims. ...
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The comparison of the South Korean male and female homicide offenders’ characteristics and crime scene behaviours is presented in this study. A total of 537 cases of homicide offenders prosecuted in Korea between 2006 and 2010 were analyzed in terms of offenders’ characteristics, victim–offender interaction, places of crime, and crime scene actions. Significant differences between male and female offenders were revealed in prior criminal history, offenders’ personal characteristics, choice of victim, crime scene behaviours during and after the homicide, and choice of weapon. The parallel with the gender differences in homicides found in Western countries is discussed as well as the possible explanations for the gender-related characteristics found in this study.
... The percentage of suicide is higher in male than in female perpetrators of filicide, namely two to four times more common (L eveill ee et al., 2015;Liem et al., 2010;Vanamo et al., 2001). However, there is a high percentage of perpetrators of familicide in the samples of several studies and the majority of studies demonstrate that the homicide-suicide rate is higher among perpetrators of a familicide compared to those of a filicide. ...
Article
Violence against children is a major public health concern and involves significant consequences. However, compared to research on the impact of violence on children, far less is known about the perpetrators of violence against children. The present study aimed to evaluate the psychosocial characteristics and motives of perpetrators of filicide in order to identify their psychosocial profile. Our study analyzed 50 perpetrators of filicides committed in the province of Quebec between 1997 and 2012. Data was obtained from the Office of the Chief Coroner of Quebec, and additional information were retrieved from newspapers. Descriptive analyzes identified the sociodemographic, criminological, psychological-psychiatric characteristics and the motivations of these men. The results indicate that male perpetrators of filicide are, on average, 34.8 years old (SD = 11.9), 46% between the ages of 18 and 35, 48% between the ages of 36 and 55, and 4% are 56 years of age and over. Most filicides were committed following a marital separation (34%), the victims were between 0 and 5 years old (78%) and they were killed with bare hands (78%). Half of the perpetrators of filicide had a criminal record (42%) or history of domestic violence (50%). Some of these men had traits or borderline personality disorder (32%) and depressive symptoms (24%). The addition of clinical cases expands our understanding of the different profiles of perpetrators of filicide. Our study provides avenues for intervention and to promote a better prevention of this type of homicide.
... There are fewer mother-perpetrated filicides in the press than the statistics imply; otherwise, the gathered data are consistent with the existing statistics (e.g. Kivivuori, 1999;Vanamo et al., 2001). ...
Article
In this article I use Finnish newspaper reports on murder-suicide to explore how the moral orders of gender, heterosexual relationships and family are used in constructing newsworthiness or routine. The two main contexts of murder-suicide, a homicide followed by the perpetrator’s suicide, were the family and the heterosexual relationship. I concentrate on femicide-suicides because it is the largest group of murder-suicides, and it is the group that is characteristically routine or mundane and only occasionally breaks into news visibility. The study is ethnomethodological: I inspect how members of society — as journalists are seen here — make sense of extraordinary events by relying on conventional ideas about gender, the relations between different people and family in their practical daily task of sorting out routine from the newsworthy. The data was gathered from four of the most widely read newspapers and local papers in a five-year period from 1996—2000.
... Entre las variables relacionadas con el autor más estudiadas están el sexo, el parentesco (biológico/no biológico), la edad, el estado civil, la situación económica, la situación laboral, la presencia de trastornos mentales, los antecedentes de maltrato infantil y contra la pareja y el suicidio. En cuanto a las variables que se relacionan con la víctima se encuentran el sexo y la edad (Bourget et al., 2007;Brown et al., 2014;Friedman et al., 2005;Kauppi et al., 2010;Klier et al., 2019;Léveillée y Doyon, 2019;Putkonen et al., 2010;Somander y Rammer, 1991;Vanamo et al., 2001). ...
Article
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El término filicidio se emplea para referirse a la muerte de un hijo a manos de alguno de sus progenitores. Es un tipo de homicidio que presenta una baja prevalencia a nivel mundial, lo que dificulta, en parte, su estudio. El empleo indistinto de diferentes denominaciones para el mismo fenómeno, así como las diferentes definiciones de lo que es un filicidio, dificultan su cuantificación, comparación y estudio. Además, es una tipología criminal que ha sido muy poco estudiada en España, por lo que en este trabajo se van a aportar datos empíricos de una muestra de 35 hechos en los que se vieron involucrados 40 víctimas y 39 autores de filicidio. Los casos corresponden a homicidios esclarecidos por la Policía Nacional y la Guardia Civil entre los años 2010 a 2012. Los análisis destacan la incidencia de mujeres autoras y de víctimas menores de edad en este tipo de homicidios, así como la existencia de trastornos mentales y comportamientos suicidas por parte de los autores. También cabe destacar que las mujeres autoras suelen tener víctimas más jóvenes, y tienden a presentar en mayor medida trastorno mental, aunque son los hombres los que consuman el suicidio tras los hechos. Estos hallazgos se discuten con respecto a trabajos previos, nacionales e internacionales.
... This predominantly includes research on intimate partner homicide (for a detailed overview, see Corradi and Stöckl (2014)) and child homicide. Studies in the latter category mostly rely on forensic-psychiatric, rather than national, data (Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001;Liem & Koenraadt, 2008). Homicide followed by suicide constitutes another homicide subtype that has been studied in European countries separately (Flynn et al., 2009;Kivivuori & Lehti, 2003;Liem et al., 2009;Shiferaw et al., 2010) as well as several countries combined . ...
Chapter
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The past decade has seen a substantial growth of scholarly work on European homicide, combined with initiatives to systematically gather homicide data on a pan-European level. In this contribution, I will reflect on these initiatives, in particular on the construction of the European Homicide Monitor (EHM) and how it relates to other initiatives, such as the Balkan Homicide Study (BHS) described in the book at hand. To put initiatives such as the EHM and the BHS into empirical perspective, this contribution also provides an outline of prior and current research on homicide in Europe. Finally, I will reflect on some of the unique challenges that surround the empirical assessment of homicide in the Balkans.
... Several terms refer to child FVH in the global literature e.g. fatal child abuse, child maltreatment death, child abuse death [11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]; however, there is no single recommended term used consistently in Australia. In the current study, child FVH complies with the Victorian Legislative and Australian FV Death Review Network definitions of child (0-17 years) and familial relationships [19][20][21][22]. ...
Article
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Child family violence homicide (FVH) is a significant public health problem in Australia and globally. Population-wide studies of orofacial injuries in child FVH are uncommon despite their recognized importance. This whole population descriptive study of orofacial injuries in child FVH in Victoria, Australia aims to implement a novel methodological approach to provide an overview of child FVH and describe frequency and patterns of abusive orofacial injuries. Closed cases of child FVH aged 0–17 years, January 2000-December 2018, were identified from screening all Victorian assault deaths for eligible offender relationships. Significant associations of clinical/demographic characteristics were explored using two-step clustering and the Spearman correlation coefficient. Of 895 closed homicide cases, 358 were FV-related. Of the 53 child FVH, 40 were eligible for injury analysis with 36 of these cases (90%) having orofacial injuries. Among these 36 cases, 72% were aged 0–4 years, males predominated (64%) and the injury mechanism was blunt force for 56%. The discrete orofacial injury frequency was associated with the non-orofacial injury frequency (rho: 0.362, 2-tailed p < 0.03). A three-cluster statistical solution was identified, each represented by an injury mechanism. The largest cluster identified a pattern of blunt force trauma in 0–4 years with drug presence, high average non-orofacial injury numbers and parent-offenders. A novel methodological approach was implemented to comprehensively describe the frequency, nature, patterns and risk indicators of orofacial injuries in child FVH. It explored associations between a wide range of clinical and demographic characteristics, which might have otherwise been missed in summary description. These methods will potentially underpin future comparative studies of intentional-unintentional child injuries and fatal-nonfatal child abuse. The study narrows a significant research gap regarding patterns of inflicted injuries, and demographic and clinical indicators in child FVH potentially informing future systematic classification processes, risk assessment tools and pathways to FV intervention.
... The latter mean filicides that occur during the postpartum period as a result of a mental disorder related to pregnancy (Guileyardo et al., 1999 ). Mothers are perpetrators of pathological filicides more often than fathers (Bourget & Bradford, 1990; Eronen, Hakola, & Tiihonen, 1996; Kauppi, Kumpulainen, Vanamo, Merikanto, & Karkola, 2008; Kauppi, Kumpulainen, Karkola, Vanamo, & Merikanto, 2010a, 2010b Liem & Koenraadt, 2008b; McKee & Bramante, 2010; McKee & Shea, 1998; Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001 ). The second category in Bourget and Bradford's typology deals with accidental homicides, which are often related to repeated abuse. ...
Article
Since the 1960s, homicides against children have decreased dramatically in Finland. The article examines this decrease by disaggregating the trend in five child homicide types between 1960-1974 and 2003-2009. There were several factors reducing the motivation and opportunity to commit most child homicide types during the period. Some were results of active social policies, some were byproducts of the policies, and some were related to the change of the moral climate. Most of the factors were interdependent. However, one type of child homicide has been resistant to any of the factors and the decreasing general trend: maternal filicide-suicides.
... The fact that filicide is a comparatively rare crime internationally (the numbers are small even in highly populated countries) makes these higher Australian instances of men killing their children a concern for researchers in criminology. Compared to other developed countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, more children in Australia die at the hands of a parent or parental figure, and more are killed by their father or stepfather (Hatters Friedman, Hrouda, Holden, Noffsinger, & Resnick, 2005;Pritchard, Davey, & Williams, 2013;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). Recent research on the still little understood spike in paternal filicide in Australia corresponds with European and American studies identifying gender-related gaps in knowledge about the crime. ...
Chapter
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Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing a child. Despite its low occurrence, filicide is one of the most emotive offenses for a public audience. The murder of a child by their own parent challenges many of our fundamental expectations about the role of parenthood, prompting a sense of horror, outrage, and deep distress: It violates the idea of parental instincts as a protection for children. While maternal and paternal filicide is committed in roughly equal numbers, historically, filicide has been regarded as a female crime. However, media coverage of mothers who commit filicide differs from coverage of fathers who commit the same crime. Infanticidal mothers in particular have a long history of being demonized by the media and in popular culture. Research shows that this is partly because such events shatter expected feminine and maternal norms. Despite the considerable body of scholarly work conducted in this area of crime and media culture, there were few studies of filicide in Australia until recently. As a consequence, the media’s portrayal of these tragic cases is to treat them as “inexplicable” while also attempting to find an explanation, most often through stereotyping, simplification, or rationalization. Keywords: filicide, maternal filicide, paternal filicide, infanticide, media, popular culture
... In fact, a systematic review of literature published in 2017 showed that prevalence in European countries varied between 0.07 and 8.5 infanticides per 100,000 live births per year (Tanaka et al., 2017). This decline could be explained by the easy access to abortion (Baralic et al., 2010;Mitrut & Wolff, 2011), the early introduction of sexual education (Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Ra, 2001) and the evolution of jurisdictions in favour of safe surrender laws allowing anonymous drop of unwanted babies (Friedman & Resnick, 2009;Grylli et al., 2016;Klier et al., 2013;Kunkel, 2007) In the developing countries, however, infanticide remains a public health problem (Devakumar & Osrin, 2016) with prevalence reaching 9.1 in Malaysia (Razali, Kirkman, Ahmad, & Fisher, 2014), 19.6 in South Africa (Abrahams et al., 2016) and 27.7 in Dar Es-Salam in Tanzania (Walker, Kublin, & Zunt, 2010). ...
Article
BACKGROUND: The Tunisian Penal Code defines infanticide as the murder committed by the mother on her child at birth or immediately after. There is a dearth of studies and official statistics on infanticide in the Arab region and North Africa. OBJECTIVE: to analyze the infanticide trends in northern Tunisia between 1977 and 2016. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: we included all cases of infanticides autopsied at the Legal Medicine Department of Charles Nicolle Hospital in Tunis, over a period of 40 years (1977-2016). METHODS: A descriptive retrospective study. RESULTS: We collected a total of 513 cases of infanticide over the study period. The general prevalence of infanticide was 0.42 per 100,000 live births per year. Infanticide often occurred during the week, in winter (31.5%) and in spring (30.9%). The newborn was often found on public roads (40.9%) and in urban areas (81.4%). The newborn was often full-term (73.6%), mature, without any congenital malformation, found completely naked (75.2%) and with an empty stomach (93.7%). The umbilical cord was often cut (71.5%), not ligated (82%) with an irregular edge (64%). There was often no putrefaction (54.4%). The hydrostatic test (81.8%) and histological examination (81.1%) showed that infants had breathed. Neglect was the most common cause of death (49.9%). CONCLUSION: Northern Tunisia has a low prevalence of infanticide compared to most of the previous European and American studies. A better understanding of infanticide would allow us to adapt measures of prevention.
... The most commonly injured site was the head, followed by the neck and chest. These results concurred with studies in Finland (Vanamo et al., 2001), Egypt (El-Elemia & Moustafa, 2013), and Australia (Schmertmann et al., 2012). ...
Article
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Background Despite the efforts of the governmental child protection programs, child fatalities due to maltreatment remain a serious problem in Arab countries. ResultsThis retrospective study identified 87 as a total questionable child death (QCD) cases in Riyadh, the capital of Kingdome of Saudi Arabia. 52 victims (60%) were Saudi children. Nearly one-third (29%) of the cases involved the death of children ages 1–5. 21 QCDs occurred in middle and the eastern regions of the country. QCDs were most commonly reported as accidental (29%), followed by homicidal (25%). A parent was the main assailant in (38%) of the homicidal cases, and the child’s relative was reported in (18%). Wounds were detected as the cause of death in 39 cases (45%). Upon examination, child negligence was reported or observed in 5 cases. Conclusion This study provides appropriate data for planning preventive measures.
... Current or recent use of alcohol, as in our second case, could negatively affect factors as mood stability or the severity of psychotic symptoms. It could also increase refractoriness to treatment and worsen prognosis (22). ...
Article
The objective of the study was to describe and discuss the cases of two women who faced criminal charges, one for attempting to murder her three children and the other for killing her 1-year-old boy. After a forensic psychiatric assessment of their level of criminal responsibility, these patients were considered not guilty by reason of insanity and were committed to forensic mental hospitals. These two patients received a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, according to the DSM-IV-TR criteria. In both cases, psychotic symptoms were present before the manifestation of violent behavior, in the form of persecutory delusions, auditory hallucinations, and pathological impulsivity. The investigation into cases of filicide may contribute powerfully to expand our understanding of motivational factors underlying this phenomenon and enhance the odds for effective prevention. Filicide is generically defined as the killing of a child by a bio-logic or an adoptive parent (1,2). Other terms are employed to describe the murder of children in more specific contexts. Neonati-cide is the killing of an infant during the first 24 h of life (3). In criminal law, infanticide refers to the killing of an infant who is <12 months old by a mother who has not fully recovered from pregnancy or who suffers from some degree of mental disturbance (4). Psychotic symptoms can induce people with serious mental disorder to believe that they are in mortal danger and lead to assaults and even murders. A study by Taylor (5) found a strong association between psychotic symptoms and recent violent behavior, given that 93% of her sample presented psychotic symptoms when they committed these crimes and 47% were ''probably'' or ''defini-tively'' motivated by these symptoms. Other studies also found an association between persecutory delusions and auditory hallucinations and the motivation to commit murder (6,7). In a study that examined filicidal mothers, Lewis and Bunce (8) evaluated 55 women who were divided into psychotic (n = 29) and nonpsychotic groups (n = 26). Within the first group, 18 (62.1%) women had command hallucinations, 23 (79.3%) reported paranoid delusions, 15 (51.7%) believed their children were dangerous, and 26 (89.7%) heard auditory hallucinations. It has been suggested that, besides psychotic symptoms, other factors may predispose women to kill their children. These include financial difficulties, social isolation, being a single mother, work problems, factors related to the upbringing and education of the mother, history of sexual abuse during early years of life, marital troubles, jealousy, alcohol abuse, physical illness, and mood disorders (9). In fact, of 89 women who were admitted to a safeguarding hospital in England during the years 1970-1975 under the charge of having killed one or more of their children (n = 109) and diagnosed as suffering from a mental disorder, only 24 were diagnosed as such at the time of the study and only 14 of them showed psychotic disorders (10). None of the women who had killed newly born babies (neonaticide) were considered to have mental disorders. Maternal mental disorder was more frequently implicated in the killing of children of a year or more in age. The findings of this study reinforce the idea that there is an association between maternal filicide and the presence of certain stress factors in the mother's life, such as having been a victim of domestic violence, early parental separation, and record of attempted suicide. Among the serious mental disorders that are associated with fili-cide, schizophrenia and mood disorders are the most prevalent. Friedman et al. (11) undertook a retrospective study of women with mental disorders who committed filicide and were considered not guilty by reason of insanity. The sample consisted of 39 mothers who attempted to kill 54 of their 91 children and succeeded in killing 46. Eighty-two percent of the women received a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder or of a mood disorder. Krischer et al. (12) reviewed the records of 840 women who were committed to a forensic psychiatric hospital under the charges of filicide (n = 45) or attempted filicide (n = 12). There were seven cases of neonati-cide, 12 of infanticide, and 37 of filicide. Sixty-three percent of the female offenders were diagnosed with a mental disorder related to the schizophrenic spectrum (schizophrenic, schizoaffective disorder, and delusional disorder) and 30% to one related to the affective spectrum. A review of 85 filicide cases in Turkey (13) showed that nearly half of the perpetrators had been diagnosed with serious
... Un capítulo aparte merecería la violencia intrafamiliar contra menores, generalmente los propios hijos. Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto y Räsänen (2001) afirmaron que en el 61% de los homicidios de menores en el hogar, la autora era la madre, frente al 37% de los casos en los que era el padre o padrastro. Los menores asesinados por sus madres solían ser de menor edad que los asesinados por los padres, y los medios más frecuentes eran los golpes, ahogamientos y estrangulaciones. ...
Technical Report
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Primer informe nacional sobre el homicidio en España, fruto del análisis pormenorizado de 632 atestados de la Policía Nacional y de la Guardia Civil por hechos esclarecidos, ocurridos entre 2010 y 2012 (inclusive). Implicando a 871 autores y 661 víctimas mortales. Se facilitan descriptivos de características de autor, víctima y hecho; y se profundiza en el homicidio con componente sexual, los relacionados con las drogas, las diferencias existentes entre los ámbitos urbano y rural, la mujer homicida, influencias de la nacionalidad de los autores, y apuntes sobre las distancias recorridas por los autores. Todo ello en el marco del perfilamiento inductivo y la policía predictiva.
... The fact that filicide is a comparatively rare crime internationally (the numbers are small even in highly populated countries) makes these higher Australian instances of men killing their children a concern for researchers in criminology. Compared to other developed countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, more children in Australia die at the hands of a parent or parental figure, and more are killed by their father or stepfather (Hatters Friedman, Hrouda, Holden, Noffsinger, & Resnick, 2005;Pritchard, Davey, & Williams, 2013;Vanamo, Kauppi, Karkola, Merikanto, & Räsänen, 2001). Recent research on the still little understood spike in paternal filicide in Australia corresponds with European and American studies identifying gender-related gaps in knowledge about the crime. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing a child. Despite its low occurrence, filicide is one of the most emotive offenses for a public audience. The murder of a child by their own parent challenges many of our fundamental expectations about the role of parenthood, prompting a sense of horror, outrage, and deep distress: It violates the idea of parental instincts as a protection for children. While maternal and paternal filicide is committed in roughly equal numbers, historically, filicide has been regarded as a female crime. However, media coverage of mothers who commit filicide differs from coverage of fathers who commit the same crime. Infanticidal mothers in particular have a long history of being demonized by the media and in popular culture. Research shows that this is partly because such events shatter expected feminine and maternal norms. Despite the considerable body of scholarly work conducted in this area of crime and media culture, there were few studies of filicide in Australia until recently. As a consequence, the media’s portrayal of these tragic cases is to treat them as “inexplicable” while also attempting to find an explanation, most often through stereotyping, simplification, or rationalization.
... There is a growing body of research comparing filicidal mothers to their male counterparts, and a number of well-established gender differences in offense characteristics have emerged. First, victims of maternal filicide tend to be younger than victims of paternal filicide (Kauppi et al. 2010;Putkonen et al. 2011;Vanamo et al. 2001;Wilczynski 1997). This finding is consistent with research that has noted women are disproportionately more likely to commit infanticide (Hatters Friedman and Resnick 2007;Porter and Gavin 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Research on filicide, the killing of a child by a biological or a de facto parent or parents, has largely focused on mothers. However, little is known about how filicidal women compare to filicidal men or whether they differ from women who commit non-filicide murder. The study explores pre-incarceration negative life events and mental health histories of women incarcerated for filicide as compared to men incarcerated for the same offense and women who were incarcerated for non-filicide murder. Extensive gender differences in filicidal parents were found in terms of economic marginalization, physical and sexual abuse, mental health problems. Filicidal women had more mental health problems and lower monthly income than women incarcerated for non-filicide murder, but there were more similarities than differences detected between the two groups of female offenders. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
... In terms of victims and motives, female homicide offenders often report a desire to resolve interpersonal conflict as the motive for their crime as reflected in a substantial body of research on this subset of female homicide offenders (9,(16)(17)(18)(19). As a result, the victims of female homicide offenders are typically family members, intimate partners, or children of the perpetrator (9,20,21). ...
Article
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Few studies have examined life history and cognitive characteristics unique to female homicide offenders. Understanding these characteristics could aid in risk assessment for extreme violence in this group of offenders. The current study utilized t‐tests or chi‐square tests to compare 27 female and 81 male homicide offenders on psychiatric, neurologic, criminal, and cognitive characteristics. Additionally, we explored the role of abuse history in female offenders through Kruskal–Wallis or Fisher's exact tests. Results indicate that in comparison with male counterparts, females are more likely to have history of mood disorder, borderline personality disorder, and abuse. Cognitively, female homicide offenders exhibit circumscribed cognitive impairment in verbal abilities and perform similarly to male homicide offenders across most cognitive tasks. Within the female offender group, history of sexual abuse is associated with higher rates of impulsive homicide and poorer verbal abilities. These findings provide preliminary evidence for distinct factors associated with homicide in women.
Article
Da in der polizeilichen Kriminalstatistik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Kindstötungen nicht extra ausgewiesen werden, differieren die Häufigkeitsangaben aufgrund fehlender epidemiologisch belastbarer Zahlen. Um soziodemographische, klinische und forensische Merkmale von TäterInnen bei Kindstötungen herausarbeiten zu können, wurden forensische Gutachten (n=48) zweier deutscher Regionen (München und Rostock), die im Zeitraum von 1980 bis 2007 erstellt worden waren, retrospektiv analysiert. Die Opfer (25 jünger als ein Jahr) waren zu 87,5% leibliche Kinder. Es zeigte sich ein deutliches Überwiegen von Täterinnen (3:1), die durchschnittlich jünger (26,5 zu 34,2 Jahre) als die Männer waren. Als Tatmotive standen unerwünschte Gravidität/unerwünschtes Kind, altruistisches Handeln, akute Psychosen, Kindesmisshandlung (sexueller Missbrauch, Vernachlässigung oder Fahrlässigkeit), Drogen- oder Alkoholmissbrauch, sadistische Bestrafung des Kindes und Tötung aus Rache am Partner im Vordergrund. Die Vorraussetzungen einer verminderten bzw. aufgehobenen Schuldfähigkeit wurden 27-mal als gegeben angesehen. Hinsichtlich einer verbesserten Primärprävention kommt es auf die Sensibilisierung und Vernetzung aller Hilfesysteme an, zumal in 30% aller Fälle die TäterInnen vor der Tat Kontakte zu Ärzten hatten.
Article
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In Egypt there are no true data about the incidences of child deaths from violence and neglect. The study aims to investigate child deaths associated with violence or neglect. Cases of suspected child deaths from 2000 to 2007 in the Suez Canal area were retrospectively reviewed. Cases were collected from the database of the Forensic Institution of Port-Said. A medico-legal autopsy had been carried out for all cases. Of the 89 cases, 56 were males and 33 were females. Results revealed that child deaths were 41.6% in newborns less than one month old, 29.2% in the age group between 15 and 18 years old, and 5.6% in the age group between 10 and 14 years old. The majority of perpetrators were unknown (44.95%), followed by victim’s colleagues and neighbors (22.47%). Neglect with no outward signs represented the majority of child deaths (41.57%). Blunt trauma used in an abusive manner during street arguments was the second cause of homicidal deaths (19.1%). The highest rate of child deaths was in newborns and early youth. There is need for further examination of child fatality profiles associated with abuse and neglect in this age group and an increase in community outreach efforts to prevent fatal child abuse in Egypt.
Article
The aim of this study is to investigate epidemiological characteristics of the victims and the offenders in children homicide cases and to propose preventive measures. We retrospectively investigated homicides and deaths by neglect involving children aged 15 or less, which have been autopsied in the Department of Pathology and Legal Medicine of the Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Garches, France, during the 18-year period from 1991 to 2008. Cases included were analyzed for victims' age and gender, victim-assailant's relation, death cause and scenery, and offender's motivation. For the purposes of the study, victims were divided into four age groups: new born; infants (1-23 months); young children (2-5 years); and children (6-15 years). During the study period, 70 victims of homicide or fatal neglect were identified, which equates to a child homicide prevalence of 0.56 per 100,000 children per year. Slightly more than half of the victims (51.4%) were less than 1 year old. Neonaticide prevalence was 0.12 per 100,000 births with an equal distribution between genders. Neonates were most likely to be killed by their mothers while fathers were the most frequent assailants in both infants and children groups. Stepparents were involved in only one case. Familicide cases where children and spouses are killed were perpetrated only by fathers. The leading cause of death was blunt trauma (especially head trauma). In the neonaticide group, half of the victims died from passive neglect whereas gunshots were predominant in the children groups.
Article
This exploratory article presents an overview of British, male family annihilators from 1980 to 2012. In doing so it provides a range of criminological information relevant to the incidents being described, and offers a taxonomy of four different types of annihilators that moves discussion beyond ‘revenge/altruistic’ categories.
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SUMMARY: Purpose of the study: This study aims mainly to draw up the profile of the victim and the aggressor, the circumstances of the homicide and the lesions found at the autopsy and to compare them with the data of the literature. Methods: this is a retrospective study of 53 cases of child homicides gathered in the medico-legal department of Ibn Rochd UHC of Casablanca, over a period of 15 years from 2002 to 2017. Results: Homicide cases involved children aged between 15 and 17 in 34% of cases with a male predominance of victims, 47 % of children were killed by one of their parents and the mother was the first suspect. Homicides took place at home in 51% of cases and the blunt head trauma was the cause of death in 28% of cases. Conclusion: This work initiates a process of improving the knowledge of the causes of death of these children in order to put an effective strategy to protect them.
Article
Background Childhood mortality is a measure of a nation’s health. A statistical analysis on suspicious child female deaths was done in two years period from 1st January 2011 to 31st December 2012. It’s incidence was (4%) of all autopsied cases. The adolescent group (16-18 yrs) was highly involved 44 cases (27.5%). The majority of cases were known (82%) and they were from Great Cairo (60%) especially poor areas. Incidences were prevalent in March (15%), indoor (58%) and homicide was main manner in (42.5%) of cases. A relative was the main perpetrator in (50%) of homicidal cases. Wounds were observed in (43%) of cases. The head and neck regions were injured (50%) and signs of abuse were detected in (16%) of the studied cases. These results may be a guide for developing prevention policy.
Article
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Events that are mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive, and have a constant sum must be negatively correlated. This study examined whether non-motor vehicle accidental deaths and homicides in young US children displayed a period of time when this rule governing mutually exclusive events was applicable. Homicide and non-motor vehicle accident mortality rates in boys and girls, aged 1 to 4 years old, in the United States from 1940 to 2005 were analyzed. Homicide mortality rates increased sharply in young boys when the accident mortality rate dropped to about 25/100,000; and in young girls, when the accident mortality dropped to about 18/100,000. This increase in child homicide mortality rates corresponded to a time period when the sum of homicide rates and non-motor vehicle accident rates in these children were relatively constant, making these rates of unnatural deaths mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive, and having a nearly constant sum. Homicide rates in young US children were relatively stable both before and after this critical constant sum time period. These findings suggest that the increase in homicide rates in young US children appear to have reflected the necessary negative correlation between mutually exclu-sive, collectively exhaustive, and constant sum events, rather than an actual increase in societal violence directed against young children.
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Les meurtres d’enfants font partie des crimes les plus intolérables. Ils suscitent l’indignation de toute la société d’autant plus lorsqu’ils sont commis par le père ou la mère de l’enfant, se dénominant dès lors sous le terme de « filicide ». Resnick et al. ont distingué en 1969, 5 types de filicides, dont celui de « Filicide-Vengeur », c’est-à-dire un filicide commis par un parent dans une dynamique de vengeance à l’égard de l’autre parent, avec majoritairement le suicide du parent–auteur dans les heures suivant les faits, se qualifiant ainsi de « filicide-suicide ». Nous vous présentons un cas de filicide-suicide vengeur, ayant des atypicités séméiologiques. Il s’agit d’un homme de 38 ans père de deux enfants de 5 et 7 ans en cours de séparation après 10 ans de vie maritale. Il est retrouvé décédé au rez-de-chaussée à son domicile, en partie carbonisé, avec une plaie thoracique autoinfligée (seppuku), les corps de ses deux enfants sont quant à eux découverts dans la chambre conjugale, entièrement calcinés. Nous soulignons une mise en scène étrange avec incendie de l’intégralité du domicile familial et mise en évidence à l’entrée de la maison d’une sacoche noire, à l’abri du feu, contenant des lettres d’adieu adressées à l’entourage proche ainsi que des photographies familiales, évoquant le syndrome de Sardanapale, inspiré d’un Roi illustre qui se suicida en mettant le feu à son palais avec sa famille et ses domestiques. Par l’étude des données médico-légales, des écrits du défunt et des auditions des proches de la famille au cours de l’enquête policière, associée à une revue de la littérature concernant ce type de crime spécifique, nous essayerons de dégager des hypothèses conceptuelles psychiatriques afin de tenter d’expliquer un tel passage à l’acte et d’envisager des actes préventifs. Les homicides infantiles représentent une part non négligeable de la mortalité infantile. Les filicides suicides vengeurs comme celui que nous présentons sont commis exclusivement au cours d’une procédure de séparation entre les parents. Étant donné l’augmentation du nombre de divorces à l’heure actuelle, on peut se demander si l’incidence de ce crime, difficilement compréhensible, n’augmenterait pas significativement au cours des années à venir ? Annexe : L’examen des lieux mettait en évidence une mise en scène du décès avec présence d’une sacoche à l’arrière de la boîte aux lettres du domicile sur laquelle étaient posées deux bougies ( Fig. 1 ). À l’intérieur de la sacoche étaient relevées des photographies de mariage du couple et des enfants, des relevés bancaires et « des lettres d’Adieu » destinés à l’ex-épouse du défunt, aux parents et beaux-parents.
Article
The study was conducted in the Dept. of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences,Imphal during the 5 yr period, from 2007-2011. Out of a total of 2463 post mortem examinations, there were only 9 cases of infant deaths. 4 were males, 4 females and in 1 the sex could not be identified as the perineum was destroyed by decomposition. 5 were born full term and the rest were preterm. 3 were live born, and 6 were stillborn. 1 had congenital bilateral cleft lip and palate with polydactyly. In 6 cases, the cord was tied whereas in 3 cases, the cord was not tied. 3 were positive for hydrostatic test and the rest were negative. Regarding place of recovery, 1 was abandoned in a hospital, 1 from a river, 1 from a roadside, 1 in the garbage, 1 in a drain, 1 from a swamp and 1 from a rural roadside. The cause of death was head injury in 3 cases, in 1 case, hypothermia and lack of nutrition (abandoned congenitally defective baby) was the cause of death, and in the rest the babies were stillborn with no known cause of death. Regarding mode of disposal, 2 were wrapped in polythene bags, 2 were left naked, 1 in a gunny bag, 3 were wrapped in cloth pieces and 1 was left in a cardboard box. This study was conducted to find out whether there was any sex bias and to suggest preventive measures.
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La incidencia y gravedad de los filicidios, junto a la alta conmoción social y repercusión mediática que producen, demandan investigaciones que faciliten la prevención de estos delitos. El objetivo de esta revisión sistemática ha sido analizar la existencia o no de características comunes entre los varones filicidas de menores de 18 años, atendiendo a diversos factores personales y contextuales, como el grado de parentesco, trastornos mentales o comisión de suicidio a posteriori. A través de una búsqueda exhaustiva en Web of Science, Pubmed, Scopus y ProQuest se obtuvieron 8,698 resultados, siendo incluidos 23 estudios tras la aplicación de los criterios de inclusión y calidad. Los resultados sugieren que los filicidas comparten ciertas características conductuales y contextuales, aunque algunas de ellas dependen del grado de parentesco con la víctima. Sin embargo, se requieren más estudios que analicen indicadores comunes o diferenciales de los varones filicidas para poder diseñar estrategias de prevención específicas.
Article
The main goal of this study was to analyze the information available on homicides of children younger than five years of age in Mexico. Mexican databases on mortality of the last ten years, referring to the time of initiating the study, were used (1992-2001). Results indicate that the homicide rate in the childhood decreased by 38 percent during the analyzed period; even so, the infanticide rate in 2001 (3.81 per 100 000) and the homicide rate in children aged 1 to 4 years (1.37 per 100 000) are among the highest, when compared to the ones of western countries, except the United States; invariably, homicides of boys were more frequent than the ones girl (the ratio boys/ girls was 1.13 in 2001). Standing out is the fact that, throughout the period, at least 45 percent of all homicides of children of 0 to 4 years were registered in Mexico State.
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Background Domestic violence homicide is the most extreme form of domestic violence reported worldwide. Although in Mozambique there are public reports of domestic violence homicide, no research has been published that addresses this form of domestic violence describing its pattern. Aim The aim of this study is to describe the pattern of domestic violence homicides in Maputo Province, Mozambique. Method A cross sectional descriptive and quantitative approach was applied using autopsy report data from 2016 to 2017 at the Forensic Medicine Services at Maputo Central Hospital. All cases of death from domestic violence were captured in an Excel database and exported to Stata software for analysis. Descriptive statistics were performed for victim's age, sex, education level, relation to offender, place of occurrence, and means of murder. Logistic regression was applied to investigate associations of intimate partner homicide with these independent variables. Results From the total of 689 autopsies performed on victims of homicide over the period of two years, 96 (13.9%) were victims of domestic violence homicide, 62 (64.6%) males and 34 (35.4%) females. The median age was 35.5 years ranging from 0 to 92 and 31 (32.3%) had school level above primary level. The residence was the place of the homicide in 45 (46.9%) of the cases. As means of killing, suffocation was used in 26 cases (27.1%), use of blunt instrument in 24 (25.0%), and poisoning in 16 (16.7%) cases. Twenty-three (24.0%) cases were victims of intimate partner homicide, and 73 (76.0%) were victims of non-intimate partner homicide. From multivariable logistic regression, intimate partner homicide was found to be positively associated to the victim being female (OR = 6.17, 95% CI 1.28–29.79, p-value 0.024), and use of strangulation (OR = 35.26, 95% CI 2.15–578.07, p-value 0.013) and burning (OR = 17.09, 95% CI 1.65–176.59, p-value 0.017) as means of killing. Conclusion This research contributes to the understanding of the pattern of domestic violence homicide, which will be useful for identification of preventive measures. More research is necessary for understanding the social contexts that serves as precursors for domestic violence in general and homicides that result from it.
Article
Introduction Confessions in criminal cases range between 42 and 57%, all crimes considered. However, there is no data specifically on confessions regarding intrafamilial homicides, despite the fact that this subtype of homicide accounts for 30–40% of all homicides. Objective The purpose of the present research aims to establish the links between the sociodemographic characteristics of the perpetrators of intrafamilial murder, and their behavior and interaction with the criminal justice system after that they committed the crime (e.g., self-denunciation and confession). Method All cases of domestic homicide over a period of eleven years and judged in a single court of assize were analyzed (N = 44). Data regarding the type of homicide (conjugal, parricide, filicide, familicide), the sociodemographic profile of the perpetrator (sex, age, family situation, occupation, educational level) and their behaviour pre-, during- and post- the homicide were collected and analyzed. Results The common intrafamilial murderer is a 36 years old man belonging to a disadvantaged socio-professional group, mostly without judicial antecedent. Moreover, confession rate is above 98% (including 41% spontaneous denunciations by the perpetrators themselves). Discussion and conclusion This research supports earlier work on the profiles of family crime perpetrators. However, perpetrators of intrafamilial homicides confess more often than perpetrators of all other types of homicide. The results are discussed in terms of cognitive and emotional mechanisms. Suggestions for the use of such insights by investigative services are proposed.
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(1) Background: The aim of the study was to analyse the structure of registered fatal violent crimes against children under 5 years of age and to identify the main characteristics and risk factors of fatal violence against children in order to discuss the possibilities and limits of prevention of these crimes. (2) Methods: Mixed-method design: 1. retrospective statistical analysis of data extracted from Czech statistics about crime. 2. qualitative analysis of autopsy reports and construction of serial case study. The data were pooled from two different sources: 1. Statistics about crime against children aged 0 to 5 (n = 512). 2. Autopsy reports (n = 52) of children up to the age of five. (3) Results: The following indicators and risk factors were identified: mental disorder or cognitive deficits in parents, parents’ immaturity, poor parenting skills, inadequate parenting practices, absence of a deep emotional bond with the mother, lack of parents’ interest in catering to the children’s needs, parents’ addiction, an unprotected, hazardous environment and surroundings, household falling apart, incidence of suspected domestic violence, incidence of multiple bruises and untreated injuries, aggressively dominant parents, poverty, absence of adequate health care, medical neglect of a child, poor health of the child and failure to thrive. (4) Conclusions: The task for the state is to make effective use of all accessible mechanisms to improve the situation in families. Particularly in the context of the newly emerging situation of increasing uncontrolled violence in families in the context of the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, this demand is more than urgent. Close attention should be paid to children who are not registered with pediatricians and fail to attend regular medical examinations. It is also vital to follow families in which violence has already been suspected in the past.
In the early 1960s, 15% of Finnish homicide offenders committed suicide after the crime. In 1998-2000, this ratio was 6%. The downward trend was due to the increase in non-suicidal homicide, as well as to a substantial decrease in the general homicide-suicide rate. Over the time span, the rate of suicidal homicide offenders per 100,000 population was halved. The decrease took place in the two most significant homicide-suicide types (that is, those of intimate-partner homicides and parent-child killings) and, within these crime types, in crimes committed by men. The present article describes the prevalence and trend of homicide-suicide in Finland, and examines the socio-economic correlates of this phenomenon. The findings indicate that the percentage and the rate of homicide-suicide have been consistently highest among middle classes and lowest among the unemployed and working classes. Victim-offender relationship, stressful life events, and alcohol consumption are discussed as explanations for this stable social difference.
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Child homicide is a frequent cause of death in children under 6 years of age. However, compared to other, less prevalent causes of death, it is poorly understood. There is a need to identify a coherent pattern or set of patterns among cases of child homicide. Child age may be a useful explanatory variable. This study differentiated among neonatal, early, and middle childhood deaths. Neonatal deaths were not related to child behavior, child physiological abnormality, or maternal parity or marital status; they were related to maternal isolation during the birth. Homicidal deaths of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers (early childhood) were usually the result of parental attempts to control child behavior. These deaths appeared to be unintended and related to the physical vulnerability of the child who is smaller than the attacking adult. Deaths of school-age children (middle childhood) resulted most often from gunshot wounds. Few children of any age were unsupervised or killed by strangers. The data suggest that it is difficult, or even impossible, to identify preventively specific cases of incipient homicide. An epidemiological approach to prevention is suggested; means of reducing risk are suggested for each of three age groups.
Article
This article examines the relationship between aggregate measures of family structure and homicide victimization rates of infants and children in 17 developed nations since 1965. The results indicate that infant homicide rates are higher where rates of births to teenage mothers are higher; and child homicide rates are higher where rates of illegitimacy, births to teenage mothers, and divorce are higher. Each of these relationships is conditioned, however, by the level of government spending on social programs: family characteristics as well as female labor force participation are most strongly associated with higher risks to children in nations with less generous social spending.
Article
Twenty five child homicides investigated in the Cologne University Institute of Forensic Medicine from 1985–1994 were retrospectively analysed with special reference to the evidential value of the autopsy findings and possible peculiarities related to the infants physiological condition. About 65% of the victims were boys younger than 3 years. About 65% of the child homicides were committed by the mother in the parental flat, predominantly in the early hours of the evening during the weekend. The mode of death were 10X blunt injury, 6X sharp violence, 6X strangulation, 3X smothering, 2X drowning, 2X gunshot and 5X neglect (starvation). The defenseless, helpless and immobile condition of the infant particularly favours a homicide by manual assault, smothering or neglect (starvation).
Article
A total population study to analyse socio-economic status (SES) concomitants of violent and nonaccidental deaths involving children in Queensland, Australia is reported. Cases were traced from coronial files of the Institute of Forensic Pathology, Queensland. All children dying of nonaccidental injuries, neglect, and murder were included. Children were excluded where death was part of the neonaticide syndrome of pregnancy-parturition-concealment. Socioeconomic status scores were assigned to each case using the Congalton four point scale of occupational status. Of the 43 children in the study, 58% were girls. The age of greatest risk of death was in the 1st year of life. A second modal age at 3 years was evident for children who were murdered. Differences in age distribution and socioeconomic status were evident between children who died as a result of nonaccidental injury (N.A.I.), and those who were frankly murdered. All of the children who died as a result of N.A.I. were from lower socioeconomic groups. However, the socioeconomic status distribution for all violent deaths (N.A.I., murder and neglect) is not unlike the socioeconomic status distribution for the general population.
Article
Infant and child homicide rates have remained stable over the last 20 years. They represent the most visible part of the spectrum of fatal child abuse. By contrast, infant mortality and child deaths from accidents and SIDS have all declined. The prevention strategies used to combat these deaths would appear to have been more successful than the protection strategies used against child abuse deaths. International comparisons of infant homicide rates have shown that measures of family stress, available resources and the cultural variables of low status of women and the culture of violence were all associated with increased infant homicide rates. The paper argues for a change in our culture towards children to prevent fatal child abuse. Copyright © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Between 1973 and 1986, 11,085 children born in Washington State were reported to the state child abuse registry. We analyzed the fatality rate subsequent to reported abuse for this cohort of children compared to a population of nonabused children matched on sex, county of birth, and year of birth. Children reported to the child abuse registry had an almost threefold greater risk of death than the comparison population. A report of physical abuse carried the greatest risk of subsequent death. However, the relative risks were also elevated for children who suffered neglect or sexual abuse. Children reported to the registry were almost 20 times more likely than the comparison population to die from homicide. Children less than 1 year of age at time of reported abuse had the highest fatality rate subsequent to abuse, but adolescents had the highest relative risk for fatality after abuse, compared to the population of nonabused children. Rates of fatality subsequent to abuse were equal for males and females. Although this study could not measure the extent to which any given intervention reduced the risk of subsequent fatality in abused children, registries can serve a valuable function in identifying subpopulations at risk and quantifying that risk relative to the general population.
Article
Monitoring abuse related deaths of infants and young children yields information necessary to the formulation of sound public policy. Birth and death certificates were correlated with information in the state Child Abuse and Neglect Registry on 104 abuse related fatalities. Significant findings include: very young age of parents at the first pregnancy; high rate of single parenthood; significantly lower educational achievement of victims' mothers; late, inadequate prenatal care; complications during pregnancy; and low birth weight among victims. The authors suggest Active Surveillance as a model for collecting information pertaining to child fatalities. Using Active Surveillance, a review team examines information from state agencies pertaining to children and families to review or determine cause of death and to collect demographic data on victims and perpetrators. Active Surveillance decreases the possibility of misidentifying abuse related deaths as accidental, and allows state agencies to follow abuse fatalities, collecting pertinent information and adjusting policy accordingly. The authors argue that, using Active Surveillance, states and nations may monitor success in preventing child abuse fatalities just as they now use infant mortality to monitor progress in public health, thus creating a stable and reliable standard for measuring progress in eliminating one type of child abuse.
Article
Over the 10-year period studied, a total of 96 children under 15 years of age were killed in Sweden. This number constituted an average annual rate of 0.6 per 100,000 children. The violence, most frequently involving strangulation, shooting, and stabbing, was largely directed at young children. The pattern of child homicide was mainly characterized by intrafamilial violence, especially in connection with the suicide of a parent-perpetrator. Extrafamilial homicides were rare and only committed by male perpetrators. Cases of child abuse by a parent and cases of sexual abuse were infrequent. By psychiatric examination after the crime, only 10 perpetrators out of 47 examined were found not mentally ill.
Article
Childhood homicide during 1972 to 1984 constituted 7.6% of the total homicides in Erie County, NY, a relatively higher percentage than that for the United States as a whole. The age-specific rate for black children less than four years of age was 17.9 per 100,000, a rate higher than that for Northern Ireland. Areas in which childhood homicide occurred most frequently were characterized by poverty and unemployment. The most common cause of death was a blunt trauma. Most homicides occurred on a Saturday and during spring and fall. In most cases, the offender was the child's mother. Most homicides occurred in the bedroom.
Article
Homicide is a major cause of pediatric mortality. National law enforcement data were analyzed to characterize and differentiate neonaticide, infanticide, filicide, and overall child homicide. Results include the following: Neonaticides often involved parents or unidentified perpetrators and occurred proportionately more in rural areas than did other types of child homicide. Infanticide appeared to be one end of the spectrum of child homicide and not a distinct entity. Filicide rates were higher for sons than daughters and the crime was committed by more fathers than mothers. Overall child homicide predominately involved young male offenders who were acquaintances of the victim. At remarkably early ages, homicide characteristics began to resemble those of adult homicide. Further research in this area should attempt to gain detailed information concerning the child, his family, and their social network. Pediatricians should be actively involved in determining risk factors for child homicide and in screening children for risk when these factors are determined.
Article
Medical, social service and coroner reports were reviewed for 14 cases of fatal child abuse and neglect identified at a children's hospital from 1988-1992. Twelve cases involved physical abuse and two neglect. The median age was 6.5 months (range 24 days to 3 years). Six families (43%) had prior protective service involvement; however, four of the referrals involved a sibling. Only two of 12 physical abuse victims had a history of a prior suspicious injury. Clinical and postmortem findings are presented. The cause of death in all physically abused patients was blunt impact head injury; one also had contributing intraabdominal injuries. Ten cases were ruled due to homicide; 12 have come to legal closure resulting in nine felony convictions. These findings emphasize the role of blunt impact brain injury in fatal child abuse cases. Two findings have significant implications for prevention: (a) the paucity of injuries recognized prior to the fatal event, and (b) among families known to child protection agencies the focus was not the fatally injured child.
Article
Homicide represents the most dramatic and heart breaking cause of death in children. Yet, in France, the true incidence and medicolegal data (modes, circumstances of deaths, and perpetrators) have been previously unknown. The goal of our study was to analyze the epidemiological and autopsy data in homicides in children in Paris and its suburbs during the past four years. We have included children from a few days after birth to 14 years of age. We report on 81 cases during the following period (17 in 1990; 14 in 1991; 16 in 1992; and 34 in 1993). Of those, 47 were boys and 34 girls. The mean age in boys was 6 years and in girls, 5 years. Fifteen homicides took place in Paris. The other 66 cases were from its suburbs. Twenty-nine of the murdered children were siblings. Seventy children (86%) were killed in their own homes; the father being responsible in 28 cases, and the mother in 17. In 20 instances, the murderer was unknown initially to the police. In 22 cases, the children were killed by gunshot, by stabbing in 14 cases, by battering in 22 cases. Four children died from drug poisoning, 13 from strangulation, and 6 from drowning. A prior history of child abuse was documented in 82% of fatal batterings.
Article
Models of structural characteristics that may influence national infant and child homicide victim rates are derived from prior research. Expected effects of structural characteristics from a "social control" perspective are compared with expected effects from a "guardians, suitable target" perspective. Gartner's (1991) claim that structural factors influence victim rates only in nations with low social insurance expenditures is also evaluated. Statistical analysis of three infant and child age groups with homicide rates from 1965-1969, 1970-1974...1985-1988 fails to support the claim that high and low social insurance expenditure strata differ. Further, no independent effects of Gartner's (1991) three measures of family structure are found. Indicators of family stress/resources, female status, the culture of violence, and a proxy for unmeasured variables and measurement error all contribute to produce high levels of explained variance in each age group.
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore under-diagnosis and racial bias among child abuse morbidity and mortality data from New Zealand. Computerized files of all intentional injury fatalities among children 16 years of age and under for 1978-87, and all hospital discharges for intentionally injured children 16 and under for 1988, were analyzed for evidence of physical abuse and sexual abuse. Among the 92 fatalities, only 21 of 68 deaths due to physical and/or sexual abuse were so coded. In both the mortality and the morbidity data, there was an association between the diagnosis of child abuse and race. In the case of fatalities, Maori and Samoan abuse victims were more likely to be assigned an E-code of E967 ("child battering and other maltreatment") than were "others" (p = 0.04), controlling for sex. In the case of hospitalizations, the association between E967 and whether or not the victim was European was significant for physical abuse only (p = 0.05). Assignment of N-code = 995.5 ("child maltreatment syndrome") as the reason for admission was significantly associated with race for those cases considered by us to have been abused, controlling for age (p = 0.002) or sex (p = 0.004).
Article
Details from Scottish Office records of all infants under a year who were the victims of homicide in Scotland during 1978-1993 are presented and compared with results from studies of infant homicide in England and Wales. Although Scottish homicide rates in the total population are much higher than those in England and Wales, the annual Scottish infanticide rate (43/million) is remarkably similar to that of England and Wales (45/million). In addition, characteristics of victims and perpetrators are also similar between the two regions. As with England and Wales, in Scotland the younger the infant the greater the risk of becoming the victim of homicide (83% were killed within 6 months of birth); male babies were more frequently killed than female ones; a parent was the most frequent perpetrator (93% of offences); mothers tended to kill neonates but for infants older than a day more fathers than mothers were recorded as the main accused. Mothers and fathers were convicted of similar offences but fathers were less likely to receive non-custodial sentences. Differences in sentencing appeared to be related to either gender-related differences in attributions as to the motivation for the offence, or to the level of violence used against the victim. Offences of mothers were most frequently recorded as being motivated by mental illness, those by fathers as due to rage. Fathers were more likely to have killed by kicking or hitting, mothers by some form of suffocation.
Article
This article is intended to provide a better understanding of the incidence of violent deaths among children under 15 years of age in highly industrialized countries/areas. We found that rates of violent childhood deaths are not uniform in the industrialized world and that rates in the United States greatly exceed those in the other countries and areas. In fact, total firearm deaths among children are 12 times higher in the United States than in all of the other countries or areas combined; childhood homicide rates are 5 times higher; and childhood suicide rates are twice as high. Five countries or areas, 3 of which are in Asia, reported no firearm deaths among children under 15 years old. These findings suggest the value of conducting further research to explore these cross-national differences.
Convicted women who have killed children. A self-psychology perspective
  • Grimmins