Women who kill their children.
P T d'Orb√°n


During a 6 year period (1970-75) 89 women charged with the killing or attempted murder of their children were examined in a female remand prison. Six types of maternal filicide were distinguished: battering mothers (36 cases), mentally ill mothers (24 cases), neonaticides (11 cases), retaliating mothers (9 cases), women who killed unwanted children (8 cases) and mercy killing (1 case). Types of filicide were compared on a number of social and psychiatric characteristics and on their offence patterns and court disposals. The operation of the Infanticide Act is discussed in the light of these findings.