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An Abominable Crime: Filicide in the Context of Parental Separation and Divorce

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2012

Thea Brown*
Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Danielle Tyson
Department of Criminology, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
address for correspondence: Thea Brown, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Caulfield East, Victoria 3930, Australia. Email:


The victims of filicide in the context of parental separation and divorce have recently been identified as the largest group among all filicide victims in Australia. Nevertheless, research into this group of victims has been sparse, fragmentary and contradictory, with the consequence that confusion has prevailed. This article critically reflects on the existing research on filicide and argues that it has been insufficiently comprehensive and reliable and, therefore, is not suitable for use as a knowledge base for professional individuals, programmatic and policy interventions, and prevention. The article suggests ways of developing more reliable research for knowledge building and details the data developed so far that underpins their recommendations for a national programme of research.

Copyright © The Authors 2012

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