Mothers Who Kill Psychosocial Profile of Filicidal and Neonaticidal Mothers in Georgia Anti Violence Network of Georgia , Tinatin

Amirejibi

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Table of Contents
Infanticide Throughout the History and Nowadays ........................................................................................... 3 General Characteristics of Neonaticidal Mothers .............................................................................................. 5 Motives of Neonaticide .................................................................................................................................. 6 Methods .......................................................................................................................................................... 7 Cases of Neonaticide ...................................................................................................................................... 8 Results .......................................................................................................................................................... 13 Discussion .................................................................................................................................................... 14 General Characteristics of Filicidal Mothers ................................................................................................... 15 Motives of Filicide ....................................................................................................................................... 16 Methods ........................................................................................................................................................ 18 Cases of Filicide ........................................................................................................................................... 18 Results .......................................................................................................................................................... 21 Discussion .................................................................................................................................................... 22 References ........................................................................................................................................................ 24

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INFANTICIDE THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY AND NOWADAYS
Infanticide, as a form of religious sacrifice, dates back to antiquity and throughout the history the atrocity of this act has been justified by consequent prosperity of the society. In ancient Greece and Rome infanticide was regarded as most effective form of population control. Ancient Greece upheld a law demanding that all newborns be examined for weaknesses or birth defects, and if discovered, the child was to be destroyed (Weir, 1984). In tribal communities female infants were perceived as potential child bearers and greater threats to community’s food resources, compared to male infant, who would become hunters (Saunders, 1989). In cultures with hierarchical social order selective infanticide was practiced; Children of parents with unequal social ranks were killed to protect the purity of the genes (Williamson, 1978). China in 1800s, victimized female infants as they would later impose burden on their family by means of dowry (Tr. Sei-I-Kwai, 1885). Japanese girls born in the year of fire horse, 1966, were considered to be bad luck, and in that year there was a 57% increase in neonatal mortality (Kaku, 1975 as cited in Warren & Kovnick, 1999). Intolerance of premarital sexual relations, extramarital affairs, and child birth out of wedlock served as further reasons for infanticide. For instance, in early Judeo-Christian Europe, Catholic Church posed religious and cultural restrains on women engaging in nonmarital sex and childbearing. The Catholic Church declared that a child born to an unmarried woman was “illegitimate” (Deuteronomy 23:2, as cited in Oberman, 2003). Not only were children stigmatized by illegitimacy, unmarried mothers also suffered from social condemnation for bearing child out of wedlock, which became additional factor encouraging infanticide (Mendlowicz et al., 1998, as cited in Oberman, 2003). In European society the link between infanticide and illegitimate childbirth was so closely associated that infanticide was considered a crime committed exclusively by unmarried women. Therefore, England passed statute entitled “An Act to Prevent the Destroying and Murdering of Bastard Children”. According to this law, if the child of a woman concealing pregnancy was found dead, she was liable to punishment by death penalty. Since some women didn’t have an aid when in labor, any woman who gave birth without a witness and the child was found dead was also immediately guilty of filicide (Schwartz, 2000). Courts dealt severely with the unwed mothers who killed their children, imposing death sentences out of which decapitation was most merciful. Other methods were burying alive, impalement and "sacking", which involved stuffing these women in a sack and throwing them into a lake or river (Piers, 1978, as cited in Logan, 1995 p.2). Fear of punishment under these laws created an obvious incentive to conceal sexual affairs, as well as a resulting pregnancy. Although until the beginning of twentieth century infanticide was considered and viewed as a crime committed by immoral, unmarried women, in the twentieth century this concept changed drastically after two French psychiatrists Jean-Etienne Esquirol and Victor Louis Marce, first proposed the idea that there might be a causal relationship between pregnancy, childbirth, and consequent mental illness (Mendlowicz et al. 1998, as cited in Oberman, 2003). Their research and ideas spread and people around the world started

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associating infanticide with mental health problems.

This new perspective was adopted in England too,

they took into consideration the impact of pregnancy and birth on mental health of women and recognized infanticide as a distinct form of homicide (Oberman, 2003). The British Infanticide Act of 1922 required convicted women to prove that they suffered from postpartum mental health problems. As proving mental disturbance was easy, vast majority of women convicted in infanticide were charged with manslaughter, rather than murder and received mostly probation and mandatory counseling, rather than incarceration (N. Walker 1968, as cited in Oberman, 2003). The British statute has been replicated in slightly varying forms in at least 22 nations around the world (Oberman, 1996). Although times have changed, societal pressures have loosened, the problem of child murder still exists in modern world; United States has the highest rate of infanticide; According to Bureau of Justice Statistics from 1976 to 2005 more than three hundred children under the age of five have been murdered, per year, by their own parents (Bureau of Statistics). 60% of children in Europe and Central Asia say they face violent or aggressive behavior at home from parents and caregivers, according to UNICEF youth poll conducted in 2001 (Unicef). Table 1 illustrates international age specific infanticide rates for twenty four countries.
Table 1 Rate of child homicide according to age groups (published by WHO, 1988 and 1989) adopted from (Shaw, Windfuhr, Flynn, 2009) Below 1 year1 1-4 year (per 100,000 live births) (per 100,000 population) Luxembourg New Zealand U.S. Austria Japan Finland Switzerland Belgium Australia Canada Portugal UK Eng/Wales UK Scotland Germany Sweden Norway Denmark France Netherlands Italy Iceland Ireland Israel UK N. Ireland 21.73 9.47 7.17 5.68 5.33 4.99 4.98 4.27 4.10 4.06 3.28 3.03 3.02 2.95 1.95 1.85 1.78 1.72 1.07 0.71 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 New Zealand U.S. Switzerland UK N. Ireland Ireland UK Scotland Finland Japan Belgium Canada Denmark Australia Germany Sweden France UK Eng/Wales Austria Netherlands Israel Portugal Italy Iceland Luxembourg Norway 5-14 years (per 100,000 population) 2.50 2.31 2.01 1.83 1.57 1.56 1.55 1.34 1.30 1.17 0.94 0.82 0.82 0.78 0.74 0.73 0.57 0.28 0.26 0.19 0.08 0.00 0.00 0.00 U.S. Belgium UK N. Ireland New Zealand Ireland Germany Canada France Australia Japan Norway UK Scotland Denmark Switzerland UK Eng/Wales Netherlands Italy Sweden Finland Portugal Austria Israel Iceland Luxembourg Homicide of all ages (incl. adult 100,000 population) 1.19 0.81 0.77 0.74 0.57 0.57 0.50 0.49 0.45 0.43 0.36 0.32 0.31 0.27 0.23 0.22 0.21 0.20 0.16 0.13 0.11 0.11 0.00 0.00 U.S. UK N. Ireland UK Scotland Finland New Zealand Canada Belgium Iceland Australia Israel Norway Portugal Luxembourg Italy Austria Switzerland Sweden Ireland France Germany Denmark Netherlands Japan UK Eng/Wales 8.55 6.84 3.22 2.68 2.23 2.21 2.13 2.00 1.96 1.79 1.43 1.35 1.34 1.26 1.22 1.21 1.18 1.13 1.08 1.07 1.05 0.93 0.75 0.60

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It is important to note that the rate of filicide for infants below 1 year is calculated by the number of live births per 100,000 populations. In the countries where the number of live births is low, single cases of infanticide may generate a high rate. This is the case with Luxembourg there was one case of infanticide, the rate is exaggerated due to low number of live births.

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Due to the importance of this problem researchers have started studying mothers who kill their children and environment around them, to understand what triggers such behavior and how this problem can be tackled. Considerable research has been done on this subject by Philip J. Resnick (1969, 1970), who studied 168 worldwide cases of child murder from 1751 to 1967. He was the first one to establish a general portrait of mothers who commit this crime. He, also, explained the motives of murder and explored psychosocial factors that acted as precursors to child murder. Filicide has become a huge problem to Georgia, as media has been broadcasting more and more cases of murdered newborns abandoned in dumpsters and murders of young children by their mothers. This problem has not yet been studied in Georgia, and in addition to that, there is no data on filicide offered either by WHO or by National Statistics office of Georgia. Current research aims to study the problem of filicide in Georgia, explore psychological and social factors that act as precursors to child murder, identify those at risk and seek preventive measures to implement. The first part of the study will address neonaticide: killing of a newborn within the first few hours of life, the second part will address filicide: killing of a child older than twenty-four hours, after its role in the family has been established. Categorization of child murder by the age group is important as the

psychological and social profile of mothers varies depending on the age of the murdered child.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF NEONATICIDAL MOTHERS
Resnick (1970), d’Orban (1979), describe two types of neonaticidal mothers. Mothers categorized under type I are usually young ladies below the age of twenty-five, with limited intelligence and education. They usually live with their parents or relatives, when considered independent from their families most are poor or have low income (d’Orban, 1979; Meyer & Oberman, 2001; Oberman, 1996; Resnick, 1970). These women are passive and submit to sex rather than initiate it. Also thet are not married or involved in a relationship with the father of the child (Resnick, 1970). Some of these women come from families with strong religious and cultural beliefs against premarital sexual relations, or had very strict and conservative upbringing (Finnegan et al., 1982; Green & Manohar, 1990; Meyer & Oberman, 2001; Sadoff, 1995). They generally lack positive support system, have experienced emotional neglect, or have odd parental relationships (Spinelli, 2003). Sexually and emotionally immature women under strong social or parental pressure against an illegitimate child, fear their parents’ discovery of their pregnancy, which leads some young women to denial or concealment of pregnancy and further to neonaticide (Meyer & Oberman, 2001; Resnick, 1970). According to Spinelli (2003) these women are cognitively immature, lack problem solving skills and insight into their current situation, have poor judgment and do not posses sufficient coping skills. The lack of abovementioned skills keeps them from taking action to end pregnancy or to seek prenatal care. In order to seek an abortion one has to acknowledge the situation and make a decision, which is not charateristic for

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neonaticidal mothers as they are often in denial about their pregnancy, concelaing it by clothes, and avoiding any decisions about it (Drescher-Burke et al., 2004). Women who commit neonaticide generally experience labor and delivery preceding neonaticide alone, often at home, in the toilet, making little or no noise, followed by either exhaustion or panic (Meyer & Oberman, 2001). This being their first pregnancy, they rarely premeditate murder, killing is reactive, as they panic following the birth. After the homicide infants body is usually hidden (Resnick, 1970). Neonaticidal mothers falling in type II are characterized as strong minded, older women in their twenties, with strong instinctual drives, history of moral violations and few ethical concerns, who plan the death of the child before its birth (d’Orban, 1979; Resnick, 1970). Although researchers provide information about two types of women who kill their children during twenty-four hours after birth, according to the research majority of neonaticidal mothers belong to the type I. Even though some women who commit neonaticide may be psychotic or have mental health problems, most of them do not have any long-term mental health problems (Meyer & Oberman, 2001; Spinelli, 2001).

MOTIVES OF NEONATICIDE
Resnick (1970) noted that the most frequent motive for neonaticide is “unwanted child” (83% of cases studied). Child is not wanted, due to social stigma of pregnancy out of wedlock, extramarital affair (in case of married group), fear of punishment or abandonment (from family or partner).

7 Table 2 Overview of General Characteristics of Neonaticidal Mothers Type I and II.
Type I Age Education Intelligence Below the age of twenty-five Early educational level Low intelligence Lacking judgment and problem solving skills Marital Status Unmarried Not involved in a relationship with the father of the child Economic Status Residing with parents Independent but poor Family Background Religious Conservative Lacking support system Pregnancy Concealment Criminal Record Yes No Highly probable History of moral violations Few ethical concerns for actions Type II Older woman in her twenties Early educational level Low intelligence

Premeditated Murder

No

Yes

Mental Health

No long-term mental health problems

No long-term mental health problems

METHODS
Current study was approved and supervised by Women’s penitentiary establishment № 5 in Rustavi, which authorized data collection and provided general offense characteristics of the cases.

PARTICIPANTS
Study sample consists of five women convicted in neonaticide. Mean age= 26, age range: 23 – 30. All of the subjects were convicted in neonaticide and were inmates of Women’s penitentiary establishment № 5 in Rustavi.

PROCEDURE AND MATERIAL
All of the subjects were individually interviewed and asked to fill out the questionnaire administered by the psychologist. Before data collection, consent form was provided for all of the subjects explaining confidentiality of the material and stating their right to refuse or withdraw from the study any time.

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Questionnaire administered was based on observations and research by Resnick (1970), d’Orban (1979), Spinelli (2003), Oberman (2001) and colleagues. Questionnaire incorporated general portrait of both type I and type II neonaticidal mothers. Additional questions were asked concerning subjects’ attitudes toward religion, family values and sexual behavior. Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire (FSSQ) (Broadhead et al., 1988) was used for determining degree of their social isolation. Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire (FSSQ) was translated from English to Georgian and utilized only after acquiring official permission from the authors.

CASES OF NEONATICIDE
Case 1: Neonaticidal Mother Type I C is 25 years old, lived in a rural area with her parents and siblings. She has incomplete secondary education, dropped out of school in 9th grade. C is not married, but was in a relationship for a year and a half. She got pregnant and concealed her pregnancy. At night, while not at home, she felt stomach cramps. C realized she was going into labor, she went to the back yard, as she didn’t want anyone to know about her pregnancy, and gave birth quietly, alone. She delivered a healthy child, which she immediately killed by covering child’s respiratory ways. Then, she wrapped the child in a plastic bag and left it at the bottom of the tree, as she wanted to come back next day to bury the body of the child. Economical Situation: C was unemployed. She lived in her parents’ house together with her family of origin. Her family income was 200 GEL per month. Family income divided on five family members was 40 GEL per person.

Family Background: C described her family as very religious. They attend church regularly, pray and fast. In addition to that, she reported that her family doesn’t approve of premarital sexual relations or childbirth out of wedlock. Her parents think that sexual abstinence before marriage is very important. Participant also reported high importance towards respecting and obeying family values.

Social Support System: This subject has the highest social support system compared to other subjects. C reported as much emotional support, encouragement, advice, companionship and tangible aid as she would like to have. She listed her mother, her partner and her friend as her primary supporters.

Case 2: Neonaticidal Mother Type I E is 23 years old. She lived in the rural area with her parents and sisters. She has complete secondary education. She has never been married but was in a relationship. E got pregnant but she concealed her pregnancy; She delivered her child alone, in the toilet. She carried the child to the back yard, where she hid the child in the dumpster. After delivery she had some complications, so she was rushed to the hospital,

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where she admitted that she gave birth and revealed the place where she hid the child. When the child was discovered, it was already dead. Economical Situation: E herself was unemployed; she depended on her parent’s income which was 200-300 GEL per month. As her family consists of five members, monthly income divided per family member was 40-50 GEL. E reported that her family had enough financial means to afford food but buying clothes was a hardship. Family Background: E lived with her family of origin, in her parents’ house. She had relationship problems with her father, according to her “he doesn’t trust her, doesn’t love her and they fight a lot”. E reported that her father had physically and psychologically abused her and her mother. E described her family as conservative but not religious. They support neither premarital sexual relations nor childbirth out of wedlock and support abstinence from sexual relations before marriage. In addition to that, participant reported high importance towards respecting and obeying family values.

Social Support: E had poor social support system, she lacked encouragement, advice, or emotional support from her family or friends. She reported receiving tangible aid from her female family members. She listed her mother and her sister as her primary supporters.

Case 3: Neonaticidal Mother Type II D is 24 years old, she is divorced and has one child. D has incomplete secondary education; she left school when she was in 8th grade. D was arrested for illegally buying and keeping large amounts of heroine, at the time of the arrest she was pregnant, which she concealed. D delivered her child in the penitentiary establishment, in the lavatory, she threw the child into the toilet, due to which child received fatal head trauma. This is the only subject with previous criminal record.

Economical Situation: D was unemployed, her family received 500$ and housing from the government due to their refugee status. She lived with her husband, child and husbands family of origin consisting of five people.

Family Background: D described her family of origin as very religious. Her family regularly attends mosque, pray and fast. Her family is conservative; they are intolerable toward extramarital affairs and illegitimate childbirth. D reported herself as very religious and conservative as well. Subject hasn’t

witnessed any type of abuse in her family of origin, nor was she maltreated. But she reported being abused physically by her husband.

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Social Support System: D lacked encouragement, companionship and advice. She described her social network as inaccessible for sharing or talking about her worries and problems. She reported receiving tangible aid and emotional support from her mother and sister, who she listed as her primary and only supporters.

Case 4: Pregnancy Denial and Fear of Abandonment B is 30 year old, she is married and has three children. She has complete secondary education. She lived in the rural area in her husband’s family house with her children and mother in law. B said she didn’t know she was pregnant, she just felt cramps, thinking it was bowel movements, so she went to the barn, where she unexpectedly went into labor, alone. She reported not remembering anything after she realized she was delivering a child. Expertise declared that child was healthy, not stillborn, and that the child was fatally injured. B reported that she didn’t have any symptoms of pregnancy and had ongoing menstrual cycle.

Economical Situation: B was unemployed; Her husband sustained the family with monthly salary of 300400 GEL. Income divided by family members was 40-50 GEL per person. In addition to that, B’s mother was sending her some groceries and financial aid. B reported that her family could afford food but buying clothes was a hardship. She mentioned that her husband and she didn’t want another child due to financial difficulties. She added that her mother would stop sending financial aid if she had any more children. B was asked if she could afford abortion if she knew she was pregnant, subject responded that she couldn’t have afforded nor abortion nor birth control medication.

Family Background: B has witnessed psychological and physical abuse in her family of origin, although she was not maltreated by her parents. But she reported being abused physically and psychologically by her husband.

Social Support: B reported lack of emotional support, encouragement, advice, companionship and tangible aid. She listed her mother and sister as subjectively perceived supporters. Love, respect and support from her mother and sister she ranked as “little”.

Case 5: Illegitimate Child A is 28 years old. She lived in the rural area together with her parents and two sisters in the family house. She has incomplete secondary education; she quit school when she was in 3rd grade. A got married at the age of 13, but was being unable to engage in intimate relationship with her husband due to seizures, which lead to divorce. Afterwards, she was involved in a relationship for several months, and as a result she got pregnant. She delivered a baby in a nearby hospital. After the release, while on the way home, she decided

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to kill the child, she covered child’s respiratory ways, which resulted in asphyxia. She then buried the child in the snow and fled.

Economical Situation: A was unemployed but her family sustained itself by agricultural means. Monthly income of the family was 200-300 GEL. According to A her family had the financial means to afford food and clothes but buying home appliances was a hardship.

Family Background: Her family members were described as religious; they attend church, pray and fast regularly. Her family is conservative; they regard romantic relationship of a divorced woman with a man unacceptable, unless they are married. Childbirth out of wedlock is not acceptable either. other subjects, regarded obedience and respect to family values as very important. A, as well as

Social Support: A listed her mother and two sisters as her supporters but still she reported lack of companionship, advice and emotional support. A was able to talk about family problems, and financial problems with her family members but not about her personal problems and worries.

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Table 3 Overview of General Characteristics of Neonaticidal Mothers in Georgia
Case 1 Age 25 9th grade 23 Case 2 24 8th grades Case 3 30 Case 4 28 3rd grade Case 5

Education

Complete Secondary Education

Complete Secondary Education

Marital Status

Unmarried

Unmarried

Divorced

Married

Divorced

Economic Status

Unemployed

Unemployed

Unemployed

Unemployed

Unemployed

Residing With

Family of origin

Family of origin

Husband, child, husband’s family

Husband, children, mother- in-law Not religious Conservative Poor

Family of origin

Family Background

Religious Conservative

Not religious Conservative Poor

Religious Conservative Poor

Religious Conservative Poor

Social Support

Good

Pregnancy Concealment

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Criminal Record

No

No

Yes

No

No

Age of the Child

Newborn

Newborn

Newborn

Newborn

Newborn

Method

Strangulation

Exposure

Head trauma

Fatal injury

Strangulation

Mental Health Problems

No long-term problems

No long-term problems

No long-term problems

No long-term problems

No long-term problems

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RESULTS
According to the study sample mean age of neonaticidal mothers in Georgia is 26, age ranging from 23 to 30. Although, according to Resnick (1970), these women are usually unmarried, the marital status of study sample is mixed: two subjects have never been married, two are divorced and one is still married. Study subjects fit in Resnick’s (1970) proposed general portrait of neonaticidal mothers nearly perfectly. Three of the participants still live with their family of origin, in their parents’ house, two live with their husbands. All of the subjects are unemployed, and financially dependent on either their family of origin or on their husbands income. All of the subjects have financial hardships. Average monthly income of these families is 376 GEL, max: 831, min: 200 GEL. Most of the subjects report that they can afford food but clothes and home appliances are hardly affordable. All of the subjects have low intellectual abilities, only two have complete secondary education, others have quit school at an early age (9th, 8th, 3rd, grade respectively). As a result, these women have poor judgment and problem solving skills. Most frequently, when face to face with a problem, subjects reported counting their blessings, hoping for God’s help/praying, trying to make themselves feel better by eating, drinking, smoking, etc, and imagining how things could turn out, how events could escalate/develop. Their way of problem solving basically does not encompass an action or step forward to solving the problem. They remain passive, which in this case lead them to denial of pregnancy and concealment. All of the subjects concealed their pregnancy, and only one was in denial about her condition until she went into labor. Other factors contributing to their denial and pregnancy concealment is location of their residence and family background. Four of the subjects live in the rural areas, in a close- knit community settings, where premarital sexual relationships or illegitimate childbirth is shameful and unacceptable. In addition to that, three of the subjects described their family members as religious, while all of the subjects reported that their family members are intolerant toward any kind of relationship out of wedlock. According to Spinelli (2003), neonaticidal mothers lack positive support system, have experienced emotional neglect, or have odd parental relationships. Two of the subjects reported having violent family members. Rest of the subjects have odd parental relationships, which encompasses only tangible aid, provides very poor if any emotional support, encouragement, advice or companionship. All of the subjects reported having little or no opportunity of sharing their worries or talking about their problems. They, also, reported receiving insignificant amount of advice, if any, on important things in life. Taking into consideration that subjects are already experiencing isolation to some degree, pregnancy concealment serves as a guarantee that they will avoid their family abandoning or punishing them. Punishment from the side of the family can vary from disappointment, loss of trust, loss of housing for those residing with their family of origin, loss of financial aid for those depending on their family’s income, also isolation from society for unacceptable behavior (from both moral and religious point of view) and loss of their only supporters inside the family as these women do not have any ties outside the family.

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Accoriding to Meyer & Oberman (2001), due to pregnancy concealment neonaticidal mothers usually experience labor alone. In the study sample four subjects gave birth alone, quietly, (in the back yard, barn, toilet), only one gave birth in the hospital. The motive of the crime was common for all of the subjects, the child was unwanted; but the methods used for committing the crime were different. According to Resnick (1970) most frequent ways of committing neonaticide are suffocation, strangulation, head trauma, drowning, exposure and stabbing. In the present study methods used were suffocation, fatal injuries, and exposure. Two of the subjects used suffocation as a way of murder. Resnick (1970) offers explanation for the act of suffocation and its frequent use by neonaticidal mothers, suggesting that suffocation was used as a way of silencing the child’s first cry attempting to avoid detection.

DISCUSSION
Prevention of neonaticide or its identification at an early stage is difficult because these women do not seek help and keep their state in secret. Although, knowing the factors that act as precursors to neonaticide may help us in implementing preventive measures against child murder in the future. According to Oberman (1996) “those who would prevent neonaticide must begin by identifying and remedying girls’ vulnerability long before they become pregnant” (Oberman, 1996, p. 73) Therefore , first step toward fighting neonaticide is to implement sexual education and family planning in Georgian schools, especially in rural areas, with a special emphasis on abstinence, responsibility and contraception. Although, access to education is very important intervention for possible neonaticide in the long term, the short term suggestion focuses mainly on access to information about contraception and its availability. The reason for this is that according to the current study, women who have committed neonaticide are not in their teen years, but range from 23- to 30. Therefore, more goal oriented suggestion would be to educate women (especially in rural areas) about birth control ways, and to make contraceptives available to them. Birth control pills are quite expensive if taken into consideration the average monthly income of the focus group. One post coitus birth control pill costs 12 GEL, price of the cheapest contraception is 8 GEL. Suggestion is to make contraception more available in rural areas by lowering the costs for low income families. Using media as a mediator for preventing neonaticide is also one of the suggestions. When

broadcasting a case about neonaticide, it is important to underline that newborn murder is a crime, which is punished by incarceration. It would be helpful to emphasize duration of the punishment, in order to, frighten away copy cat mothers, who might think this is the way to get rid of an unwanted child. Desperate young women may not know what other options exist except for neonaticide and they may follow the lead of someone they have read or heard about in the news (Saunders, 1989). Therefore, when broadcasting neonaticide it is crucial to focus more on alternatives for a mother-tobe to choose from, for instance, media can encourage them to use hotlines, shelters for young mothers, adoption homes, or foster care, where they can bring and leave their children.

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Baby hatches are also one of the alternatives for preventing neonaticide. Baby hatches, also known as baby boxes, are little windows usually connected to hospitals or foster homes, which contain soft beds and heat to keep the child warm and comfortable. Mothers can leave their unwanted children in the baby boxes without being persecuted by law. Baby hatches guarantee anonymity for the mother and care for the child. The fact that baby hatches guarantee anonymity for mothers have stirred some arguments, that child’s right to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations are not respected (Committee on the rights of the child, 1989) but it has been agreed that child’s right to live is a primary priority and thus baby hatches have become legal Baby boxes are implemented in more than fifteen countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philipines, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland. Baby boxes have not yet been introduced in Georgia. Although establishing baby hatches has an obvious advantage and preventive character for neonaticide, the downside of it is that it might increase overall child abandonment.

First part of the study examined general profile of neonaticidal mothers, psychological and social factors that act as catalysts to committing the crime, analyzed the existing cases of neonaticide in Georgian population and came up with preventive measures. Second part will address and explore filicidal mothers, as in women who have taken the lives of their children, who were older than twenty-four hours and had established role in the family.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF FILICIDAL MOTHERS
According to data accumulated from research by d’orban (1979) and Resnick (1969) majority of filicidal mothers are over the age of twenty-five, have low intellectual abilities and are married, divorced, widowed or living with a partner. There are two types of stressful factors reported that these mothers commonly deal with: 1. Family stress, which involvs history of crime, alcoholism or mental illness in the family of origin. Also, traumatic events experienced during childhood/adolescence, such as maltreatment from their parents, parental discord, and separation from one or both parents before the age of fifteen (d’Orban, 1979).

2. Stress in social environment such as marital discord with the husband/partner, ongoing abusive relationships, conflict with family members, and limited social support. Also, financial difficulties and housing problems such as inadequate or overcrowded accommodation, living with in-laws, in a temporary apartment, or being threatened with eviction (Bourget et al., 2007; d’Orban, 1979).

Some of the filicidal mothers have reported being engaged in substance abuse, which has been suggested to act in two ways: first, drug-exposed newborns and infants are often described as irritable, with

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poor feeding and irregular sleeping patterns, making them difficult to care for; secondly, substance misuse can impede people’s ability to evaluate their own behavior and is correlated with aggression ( Cherek & Steinberg, 1987; Smithey, 1997). Effects of childbirth are also seen as precursors to filicide. It is acknowledged, that after childbirth postpartum “blues” can occur in mothers, but there are cases when childbirth stimulates significant mental health problems such as postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a clinical syndrome, characterized by delusions, severe depression, and thoughts about harming newborn or self (Logan, 1995). Early symptoms include insomnia, restlessness, fatigue and tearfulness. Common secondary symptoms may include paranoia, incoherence, confusion, obsession about child’s health and audio hallucinations (Logan, 1995). Women with previous mental health histories, such as schizophrenia or mood disorders, are at risk that these mental health problems may recur after childbirth. Women are at twenty-five times excess risk of becoming psychotic in the month following childbirth and 10–15% of mothers have an episode of major depression in the year after giving birth (Hopkins, Marcus, & Campbell, 1984), therefore newborns are at most risk during the first years of their lives. According to the data, 66% of filicidal mothers have displayed psychiatric symptoms, 40% or more have seen a psychiatrist or other health practitioner shortly before the crime (McKee & Shea, 1998).
Table 3 General Characteristics of Filicidal Mothers
Age Education Level Marital Status Family Stress Social Stress Substance Misuse Married Divorced Widowed Living with partner Parental discord Maltreatment Substance abuse Crime Mental illness Financial problems Housing problems Marital discord Conflict with family members Limited social support Alcohol Drugs Mental health problems Effect of childbirth Mental Health

> 25

Low

MOTIVES OF FILICIDE
According to Resnick (1969), d’Orban (1979), Scott (1973), there are five motives/ impulses, which can cause a mother to kill her child. Altruistic/ Mercy killing – this type of killing occurs when mothers think they are doing what is best for the child. For instance, killing a child who is actually in pain or suffering such as chronically ill child, or child with congenital defects/illness. This category also includes parents with suicidal intent, who don’t want to leave their child alone in this awful world and decide to take the lives of their children too. And salvation

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mentality mothers, who believe that by killing their children they can protect them from the approaching, real or imaginary, threat. Acutely psychotic/Mentally ill – this type of crime is committed under the influence of delirium. This group contains cases of parents with mental health problems such as personality disorder, depression, and psychotic illness. Filicide occurs when the parent, midst of psychosis or mania, kills the child for no rational reason, such cases may also involve parents suffering from hallucinations. Unwanted child – this kind of murder is committed either by passive neglect, or by active aggression. Some cases evolve around extramarital paternity, others report that the child became or was undesirable or was seen as a hindrance to a new relationship. Accidental killing/ Battering mothers – these are the cases of child abuse gone wrong, when killing is an aftermath of lost temper, sudden explosion of anger, or violent forms of punishment. It is named “accidental killing”, as primary intention was punishment or discipline, not murdering. Spousal revenge/ Retaliation - in souring parental relationships, killing as a form of spousal revenge or “medea situation” (term coined by Stern, 1948) is very rare type of filicide. The motive of the murder is to punish other parent by killing his/her favored child. Cases of filicide committed by mothers, in this category, were caused by breakdown in a relationship followed by feelings of rejection or jealousy, suspicion or confirmation of their husbands’ infidelity.
Table 4 Frequency of Different Filicidal Motives Reported by Researchers
Resnick (1969) d’Orban (1979) Bourget & Gagne (2002) Liem & Koenraadt (2008)

Altruistic/ Mercy Killing Associated with Suicide To relieve Suffering

49 50 14

1

-

43

Acutely Psychotic/ Mental Illness

21

24

23

32

Unwanted Child

10

8

-

-

Accidental /Battering Mothers

6

36

3

42

Spousal Revenge/Retaliation

2

9

-

23

Total Number of Murder Cases

88

89

27

161

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METHODS
Current study was approved and supervised by Women’s penitentiary establishment № 5 in Rustavi, which authorized data collection and provided general offence characteristics of the cases.

PARTICIPANTS
Study sample consists of three women convicted in filicide. Mean age of the subjects = 30, age range: 24 – 40. All of the subjects were convicted in filicide and were inmates of Women’s penitentiary establishment № 5 in Rustavi.

PROCEDURE AND MATERIAL
All of the subjects were individually interviewed and asked to fill out the questionnaire administered by the psychologist. Before data collection, consent form was provided for all of the subjects explaining confidentiality of the material and stating their right to refuse or withdraw from the study any time. Questionnaire administered was based on observations and research by d’orban (1979) and Resnick, (1969). Questionnaire also incorporated Major (ICD-10) Depression Inventory (Bech et al., 2001; Olsen et al., 2003), Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire (FSSQ) (Broadhead et al., 1988), Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) (Cox, et al.,1987), The Correctional Mental Health Screen (Ford et al., 2007). These scales were translated from English to Georgian and used for further data collection. All of the above mentioned scales were used only after acquiring official permission from authors.

CASES OF FILICIDE
Case 1: Accidental killing/Battering mother A is 24 years old, is married and has three children. Once when A’s husband was at work, she asked her five year old son to carry a pot to the back yard. Child didn’t return right away, so A called him and told him to come into the house. Child started walking toward the house with slow pace, which made A angry. She attacked him, hitting him several times in the face. Child out of the shock and fright fainted and fell on the ground. A immediately grabbed the child and took him inside to try to help him. Unconsciously, she threw him on the floor and started compressing his chest in hope that he would regain his consciousness, but nothing worked. She called her husband for help, but when he came home child was already dead. Family Stress: A has limited intelligence, since she quit school when she was in 3rd grade. The reason for this, she reports, are her parents who had drinking problem, and spent all their money on alcohol. A has witnessed parental discord, physical and psychological abuse between her parents. In addition to that, she remembers dozens of cases when she was called to pick up one of their parents, who due to exceeded doses of alcohol, lay on the street.

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Social Stress: To get away from her parents and shame they brought on her she got married, at the age of 17. Her first marriage lasted only year and a half as her husband, who was significantly older than her, physically abused her. Mother-in-law abused her psychologically. She left her husband and was “kidnapped” by her second husband with whom she stayed. Second husband abused her physically and sexually. A and her family lived in a house that was temporarily given to them by a friend. A reported having financial problems, having no household appliances and from time to time no electricity. She was unemployed, but her husband sustained the family. His monthly salary was 200-300 GEL. She was the primary caregiver of three children, one of which has congenital deafness. A had poor social support system, the only person who she listed as a supporter was her brother, who is deceased. Case 2: Post Partum Depression B is 26 years old. She quit school when she was in 5th grade. B is married and had one child, who was several month old. She was the primary caregiver of her child. One day when B’s son wouldn’t stop crying because he was hungry, B got very nervous, lifted the child, and in front of her mother-in-law, threw him out of the balcony from the second floor. Family Stress: In the family of origin B has witnessed parental discord, physical and psychological abuse of her mother by her father. She was maltreated and abused by her family members (parents and brothers) both physically and psychologically. Social Problems: B reported having financial problems. She herself was unemployed, but her husband supported the family. His monthly income was 200-300 GEL. There were seven family members in her family: her husband, her in-laws, husband’s siblings, and her. B reported having interpersonal problems with her husband’s family members and especially with her husband, who had drinking problem and under the influence of alcohol abused B physically and verbally. B had a poor social support network; she listed her mother and sister as her only supporters. Case 3: Unwanted grand Child (Illegitimacy) C is 40 years old, is married and had three children: twin sons and one daughter. C noticed that her unmarried daughter M was pregnant. She asked her daughter about the father of the child, M refused to reveal his identity. Then, C asked her to have an abortion, her daughter refused this suggestion. M offered to reveal who was the father of the child only if her mother told her where her first child (who was already adopted by another family) was. As visiting adopted child or claiming it back was impossible C told her son to lure M to some deserted place and to kill her. Mother and son told M they were going to visit M’s first child. They drove to the seashore, where M was beaten by her brother (head and abdominal trauma). Then, unconscious M was dragged into the sea and left there. She drowned and her body was found next morning.

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Family Stress: C did not report any stress in the family of origin, no parental discord, maltreatment, or substance abuse was reported. Social Stress: C did not report any stress in her marriage either, no abusive relationships or marital discord. C was unemployed, but her husband sustained the family. Financial situation of the family was average, monthly income of 1000 GEL. Family lived in three room apartment, which was their property. C had a poor social support system; she listed her twin sons, husband and murdered daughter as her supporters.

Table 5 Characteristics of Filicidal Mothers in Georgia
Case 1 Age Education Marital Status Stress in the Family of Origin 24 3rd grade Married Alcohol abuse Parental discord Case 2 26 5th grade Married Parental discord Maltreatment Case 3 40 Incomplete High School Married No stress in the family of origin

Social Stress

Financial problems Marital discord Abusive husband Limited social support Temporary housing

Financial problems Marital discord Abusive husband Poor social support Overcrowded apartment Conflict with family members

Limited social support

Substance Abuse

No

No

Drug abuse Alcohol abuse Sedative abuse

Mental Health

Mild depression Anger management issues Mild retardation

Moderate depression Post partum depression Symptoms of PTSD

Severe depression Psychiatric symptoms

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RESULTS
Current study dealt with three subjects convicted in filicide. Resnick (1969) reported that generally filicidal mothers are older than neonaticidal mothers. According to the data obtained from the study this idea is validated, as mean age of the filicidal mothers is 30 (age ranging from 24 to 40), while mean age of neonaticidal mothers is 26. Two subjects, Case 1 and Case 2, fit in the general portrait of filicidal mothers proposed by Resnick (1969). Both subjects have low intellectual abilities, both are married, they both have dealt with stress in their family of origin such as alcoholism, parental discord, maltreatment from their parents, or have witnessed abusive relationship of their parents. They also have dealt with social stress. Both suffer from abusive relationship with their spouses; have housing problems, financial difficulties, and poor social support. In addition to that, Case 1 and Case 2 have demonstrated mental health problems. Case 1 displayed signs of mild mental retardation and signs of depression on Major (ICD-10) Depression Inventory. She scored 22, which according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, corresponds to mild depression. In addition to that, she reported suffering from uncontrollable anger, which she described as sudden flames of rage she felt rising inside her. Her anger outbursts, which were directed toward her children can be explained by her statement: “there is nothing I can do to protect myself from my husband (when he is abusing me), if I answer him back he can tear me to pieces, I am weak compared to him (physically)” Basically the only outlet of her built up anger were those who were weaker than her, her children. Case 2 displayed symptoms of post partum depression. She reported that things have been getting on top of her, and she was unable to cope with it at all. She also reported feeling anxious, worried, scared/panicky for no good reason. On Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale she scored 16. The scale has a threshold of 10-13 for depression. On Major (ICD-10) Depression Inventory she scored 29, which according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV, corresponds to moderate depression. In addition to that, B reported having symptoms of PTSD before the crime, such as recurrent distressing dreams, physiological reactivity to exposure to cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event, efforts to avoid thoughts, activities, conversation about the event, restricted range of affect (unable to have loving feelings), irritability or outbursts of anger and difficulty concentrating. Case 3, on the other hand, hardly fit in the general portrait of filicidal mothers, and is hard to categorize under murder motives offered by Resnick (1969), d’Orban (1979), Scott (1973). Case 3 is a peculiar case, she hasn’t reported any kind of stress in her family of origin, she characterized atmosphere in her family of origin as friendly and peaceful. She hasn’t witnessed parental discord or abuse between her parents. C dealt with few social stresses, although she was unemployed similar to other subjects, her family income was three times larger than that of others. Moreover, C had no housing problems, as her place of residence is private property of her family. She had peaceful, harmonious relationship with her husband. The

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only social stress C had was limited social support. Her only supporters according to her were her twin sons, husband and murdered daughter. Most important problem of this case was alcohol, drug and sedative use. C reported using drugs almost every day, sedatives- every week. She felt the urge to use drugs almost every day. On major (ICD10) Depression Inventory she scored 31, which corresponds to severe depression according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV. In addition to that, she displayed all of the symptoms characterized by PTSD. Although all three of the subjects displayed mental health problems, none of them have psychiatric history, have ever been in treatment or have seen psychiatrist or other health practitioner shortly before the crime.

DISCUSSION
Preventing filicide is not easy but compared to neonaticide there are signs and warnings according to which it can be identified and avoided. First set of factors, which must be taken into consideration when evaluating filicide risk are mental health problems, substance abuse, child neglect/abuse. First suggestion to preventing filicide is to implement early mental health problem identification system. It would be helpful to implement The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to screen mothers for mental health problems both antenatally and postnatally. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is a quick, 10-item screening tool, that mothers complete themselves. The scale is simple to score with a range of 0-30 and a threshold of 10 to 13 for depression (Friedman & Friedman, 2010). The scale has been validated both in postpartum period and during pregnancy. The Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale has been tested various times for validity and reliability. It has proven to be sensitive (as in proportion of patients with a disease who test positive using the screening tool) in 75% of the cases. Specificity (as in proportion of patients without a disease who test negative using the screening tool) has also been measured and the scale scored 84% (Michigan Families Medicaid project, n.d., p. 1-2). Information about postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, or “baby blues” should be accessible to mothers and their families by their health practitioners, as according to Friedman et al., (2010) postpartum depression occurs in approx 10% to 25% of mothers within the first year after giving birth. A milder condition of postpartum depression is baby “blues”, which usually resolves after two weeks. Symptoms are limited to crying, liability, irritability, and tiredness (Friedman &Friedman, 2010). And there is postpartum psychosis, which is rare but has swifter onset and evolution than postpartum depression or baby blues. It usually occurs in the first week after delivery. Mothers experience psychiatric symptoms including psychosis, mania, depression confusion, hallucinations, insomnia, rapid mood swings and etc. Women experiencing post partum psychosis have elevated rates of both suicide and infanticide, with up to 4% of mothers who have untreated postpartum killing infants (Friedman & Resnick, 2007).

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All of the filicide cases took place in rural areas; most of the rural areas in Georgia have their designated district officers. Taking into consideration that in these areas communities are close-knit, district officer has an opportunity to access significant information about families, their members, and their overall social and economic situation. Families with financial difficulties, whose family members have substance abuse problems, or problems such as domestic violence, family discord, should be observed closer. It is

obvious that mother who battered her child to death, likely abused the child earlier as well. Therefore, early interventions are crucial to protect children. District officers should be alert to such cases and should report, so that social workers and social agencies can take care of the child. But not only should they be alert for child abuse, but also for child neglect. Unwanted children, just as abused ones, should be identified and taken care of because the threat poses to lives of both types of these children, be they unwanted, or abused. According to Farooque (2003) substance misuse is a potential influence on child neglect and abuse but intellectual impairments also present a risk of poor and deficient parental skills. Farooque (2003) suggests screening for child-rearing skills, as well as substance abuse, when evaluating the risk of child neglect, abuse or potential for filicide. Psychologist could give a helping hand to mothers in rural areas with low intellectual abilities and teach them, give lectures, or trainings about parenting, child rearing, about reinforcement of child’s good behaviors and ways of punishment that doesn’t involve physical violence. Overall, filicide prevention seems to be a task for multidisciplinary group of mental health professionals, social workers, district officers, and health practitioners. If a multidisciplinary group cannot be established, at least referral network between these professionals and departments should be established for information flow an immediate reaction to identify and prevent filicide.

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