Maternal Filicide in Turkey

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Abstract

Filicide occurs in every socioeconomic stratum around the world. This study was conducted to evaluate motives, psychopathological aspects, and socio-demographic factors of 74 filicide cases of women in Turkey. Mean age of mothers, most of whom committed infanticide, was 26 years, and breakdown of criminal offenses are as follows: “to get rid of unwanted babies” (24.3%), “acute psychotic-type filicide” (21.6%), “fatal child abuse and neglect” (17.6%), “to get revenge” (12.2%), “protect the lonely child from the harm and badness after suicide” (10.8%), and “pity” (9.5%) motives. Results showed that maternal filicide cannot be reduced to only mental instability or environmental factors and indicates deficiencies in the capacity of the mothers' role in connecting with their child and with parenting skills. Finally, with regard to defendants' motives, similar factors that contribute to committing maternal filicide should be considered while making an assessment of the data and determining employee risk groups.

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