skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 171095 Find in a Library
Title: Maternal Filicide: More Than One Story To Be Told
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(1997)  Pages:15-39
Author(s): C M Alder; J Baker
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 25
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from the coroners court files in Victoria, Australia from 1978-1991 were used to explore cases of murder of children by their mothers.
Abstract: The data on the 32 incidents of maternal filicide were grouped into three categories: murder-suicides, the murders of newborn infants, and fatal assaults. Results challenged assumptions that a single explanation is possible for these events or thus for homicides by females in general. The data did not support representations of female homicide as predominantly emotional outbursts entailing a loss of control. Suicide notes or prior comments to friends and relatives indicated that mothers in the murder-suicides believed that the filicide was in the children's best interest. These were cases of misguided altruism. Murders of newborns within their first 24 hours of life were characterized more by the total denial of the pregnancy and the birth than by a motivation to kill the child. The intent in the fetal assaults was also not to kill the child; these mothers usually had previously assaulted the child and the extreme physical violence this time resulted in the child's death. These cases have been called fatal non-accidental injury. Findings indicated the maternal filicide is more diverse and complex than previously determined in most of the previous research. Research recommendations and 66 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Crime in foreign countries; Criminology; Family homicide; Female murderers; Homicide victims; Victoria
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=171095

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.