Filicide: Why parents are killing their own child?

Filicide: Why do people tend to kill their children? 

Filicide refers to an act of killing one own’s child. This is something unfathomable crime which has a variety of factors influencing such behavior. In India, the gradual increase of this crime is something that requires a limelight. Being a parent is something a matter of responsibility and pride. However how this situation is turning itself upside down? This blog shall discuss some important issues and ramifications in the context of filicides. 

Was it a practice in history? 

Although no such concrete proof of filicide can be gathered from pages of history however we can infer that this practice was apparent. Especially in the case of a woman who used to become a mother without marriage. They either used to kill their child or leave anywhere to get the child in the hands of luck. In cases of severe war where there was an apprehension of getting brutally murdered by enemies, then parents tend to kill their children. Some instances are also recorded during the partition of India where communal riots also led to some filicides. For the sake of ‘family honor’ especially females were killed. However, these are some recorded situational factors of history. Although the political makeup of this society has gradually changed fillicide remains apparent. The psychological context here is something complex in nature. 

Types of filicides 

While describing the reasons for such actions, files have been classified by American psychiatrist Phillip Resnick based on motives here 

Altruistic filicide:-

Where parents kill their child for the “ best interest of the child”. When they see death as something in their best interest especially in war zones or any other reason they tend to kill their child. 

Psychotic filicide:-

Where the parent kills the child without any severe reason because of some psychotic experiences. 

Unwanted filicide:-

Here the parent tends to kill their child when they see their child as a hindrance to their social benefit. 

Accidental filicide:-

Where a parent kills their child as a result of some neglect. 

Spouse revenge filicide:

Where with the motive of taking revenge on one’s spouse one tends to kill one’s child. 

They found jealousy, unemployment poor literacy, substance abuse, etc. Some of the vital factors influencing this filicide. Sometimes very high degree of neuroticism tends to affect this filicide.  

Case of filicides 

One of the founders of an AI startup has been allegedly involved in filicide action.

Total cases of filicides have been recorded as 0.6 to 2.1 percent out of 100000 children below 15 years of age in India. 

“The burden of childcare often falls on the mother. The expectations from her are huge from her own family and society, without looking or addressing her own physical and mental health,” said Prof Prabha S Chandra, Psychiatry 

However, filicide is undoubtedly a violation of human and child rights in the country. This becomes apparent that psychotic issues are something that is significantly ignored in society. The legal measures althoigh can maintain order in society however it is not possible to eradicate this kind of unfathomable problem out of the box without addressing the root cause here.  

Kota deaths: a mental filicide? 

Mental filicide is in a sense what the Supreme Court in its words quoted by stating wrong the blame games on coaching institutions. It rather blamed the higher expectations of Parents which are forcing children to push themselves towards death beds. A home is a place where that child has to feel comfortable. It is the responsibility of a civilized nation to at least provide a comfortable place to survive. However, the cases in Kota are something which is in contrast to the expectations. If a 14-15 year child is struggling in Kota with a known fact that the abundance of fees has been spent on her with no mental support the annual deaths at Kota seems to be expected. A total number of students entered there, everybody couldn’t return, making the place a war zone for seats. 

Solutions and way ahead: It is possible to stop 

  1. To stop such killings it is very important and a national responsibility of the government to hire the mental health specialist wherever needed 
  2. Legal process must be made stringent in case of violation of child rights. Children must be aware of the apprehensions regarding their security and the preventive measures. 
  3. Schools must be strict towards parental training to avoid accidental filicide 
  4. The indirect causes like literacy rate, poverty, and crimes involved must be scrutinized by authorities 
  5. There must be protection for those children whose parents are undergoing some divorce-related issues. 

Thus in a nutshell we shall conclude that this is a concept that generally remains in vain in society. Thus to make society a civilized nation to live in we must provide adequate parental guidance and children’s protection. The human rights violation contains filicide as an essential component in it. 


Times of India

Indian Express

Freepik images



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