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NCJ Number: 160798 Find in a Library
Title: Risk Factors and Risk Assessment in Case of Child Homicide: Results From Two English and Australian Studies
Author(s): A Wilczynski
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Sale Source: University of Sydney
Publications Coordinator
Institute of Criminology, Publications Officer
173-175 Phillip Street
Sydney, NSW 2000,
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper outlines a project in England and a project in Australia that examined the risk factors for child homicide by parents or guardians.
Abstract: The analysis considered 48 cases in England and Wales and 22 cases in New South Wales, Australia. Results revealed that most perpetrators were female in England and Wales and male in Australia. In both groups, however, the murderers were typically young and had become parents at a young age. Although biological parents of the victim predominated, nonbiological caregivers were significantly overrepresented compared to their proportion in the general population. More than half the suspects were unemployed and those who were employed were concentrated in the lower social classes. A history of psychiatric disorder, particularly depression and psychosis, was a common feature, as were prior psychiatric treatment and drug dependence. Victims were usually under 5 years old and either the only or youngest child in the family. The children were usually killed in the home without any witnesses. A history of marital conflict and violence was common, as was a history of physical violence toward the victim before the fatal assault. The majority of suspects had contact with child welfare agencies, medical providers, or other professional agencies before the child's death. Findings indicated the need for comprehensive risk assessments in all child protection cases and for interagency cooperation. Case example
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Crimes against children; England; Family homicide; Homicide causes; New South Wales; Offender profiles; Victims in foreign countries; Wales
Note: Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology Conference, Boston, Mass., November 15-18, 1995
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