Child Homicide – Filicide & Neonaticide: a gendered problem, but where’s the discussion?

The first week of a child’s life, is the most dangerous in its entire life; and the greatest risk during that time is from its mother – especially on the day of its birth (1).  For the past 23 years, according to US data, that risk has been almost double for male children (1).  This is a stark inversion of the usual gendered binary of male offender/female victim, and one that continues to escape much attention – in academia or the media.

But at least the US are making a start by gathering and interpreting the statistics.  In the UK, it is difficult to even glean appropriate data around this issue, because there is no single source that aggregates it (2).  The NSPCC caution that ONS/Home Office homicide data are most frequently relied upon, but are unreliable – not least because they likely underrepresent the true extent of this crime, but also because the data itself is not adequately nuanced in regards to the relationship of the perpetrator (2).

Child protection?  Yes.  Safeguarding children?  Absolutely.  But the rather more inconvenient issue is – from whom?

 

1: http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=infant-homicide

2: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/information-service/factsheet-child-killings-england-wales-homicide-statistics.pdf

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