CRG 52/14-15: Filicide in Australia, 2000-2012 A National Report

Filicide in Australia, 2000-2012: A National Study‘, is the first to examine filicide nationally over time, and it shows that filicide rates are not declining but were stable in the 12-year period under study. In that period some 284 victims were killed by a parent or parent equivalent, such as a step-parent, and 274 victims were children under 18. While the youngest children (under 4) are the most vulnerable, children remain victims throughout their school life and afterwards, with the oldest victim being 33 years. Most children had not ever been known to child protection. Rates varied from state to state with Victoria having the lowest incidence per capita and Queensland the highest The major categories of perpetrators were mothers, fathers, mothers and fathers acting together, step-fathers and step-fathers and mothers acting together. Step-fathers were disproportionately represented. A constellation of factors was found to be associated with perpetrators: domestic violence previously inflicted or suffered by the perpetrator, mental illness, substance abuse, partnership separation, history of child abuse and a newly identified factor, criminal history, often for violence.