Men are more likely to commit violent crimes, but when it comes to filicide (parents killing their own kids), the women catch up.
In India, we are familiar with parents killing their children, although we hear more about parents killing unwanted baby girls. That is just one type of filicide.
Parents kill their children for all sorts of reasons. Just last month there were two cases which were reported. One in Kannur, Kerala, where a young woman killed her 9-year-old daughter, and her parents (parenticide), because they were interfering with her “lifestyle”. And there was another case where a young man killed his two-month-old son because he suspected his wife’s fidelity.
Why do parents kill their own kids? Don’t they love them? The answer is: No, not always. Children, on the other hand, tend to love their parents even if they are abused.
Children typically blame themselves for what goes wrong in the parent-child relationship.
Not all parents love their kids automatically, probably one of the reasons for any abuse. These parents should never have become parents in the first place. Maybe they didn’t really want to, or had no idea what it entailed.
The reasons for killing one’s own kid varies, but it is often out of innate selfishness, mental instability, or cruelty.
- Unwanted child filicide. The child may be unwanted because of the gender, or because the parents don’t want to care for him/her, or because one parent hates the other. Financial considerations can figure in the equation too.
- Altruistic filicide—The parent kills the child because he/she thinks that life will be too hard for the child. For example, if their child is disabled, or the mother/father feel there is no one to look after the child after they die (as in the case of parents killing themselves in a murder-suicide).
- Psychotic filicide — The parent kills the child with no “rational” motive. He/she is simply crazy.
- Accidental filicide — The child dies because of parental abuse.
Related Reading: Why give up babies?