Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Filicide: An example of why our campaign is necessary

We have been sent a post recently which discusses the issue of men who murder their children, the act of filicide. It was sent into us in response to the news that Julian Stevenson had taken his own life, prior to his trial in France for the murder of both of his children. As an ethical organisation, our team discussed this issue and have opted not to post it.

We do want to take some of the details from it in order to show why our campaign is needed and to challenge some of the myths contained within it. The original poster named the piece:

'More Loving Fathers Likely to Murder their Children'

Loving fathers do not murder their children - regardless of the circumstances they may find themselves in post-separation. Research concludes that father's murder their children due to a need for power and control, and often in order to commit one final act of defiance. This is not an act of love. It is a hateful and destructive act that cannot be excused.

One quote from this piece stood out to us:

An increasing few snap under the pressure and murder our ex or our children or both. A heinous crime. Just as heinous as Julian Stevenson's. The courts have a responsibility to protect children from people with a violent disposition (and Julian Stevenson appears to have been one of them).

Men do not 'snap' under the pressure. They make an active choice to murder their children, or their ex/current partner, and then sometimes take their own lives. The courts do have a responsibility to protect children, but unfortunately the lack of understanding around domestic abuse means they often ignore the issue of child contact being for the benefit of the child, not the non-resident parent.

However, the epidemic of false domestic violence claims being used by one parent to facilitate alienating children from the other parent and blocking of visitation, is exposing many of us committed and involved (formerly) parents to degrees of duress that are too much for some to endure.

Despite our policy being clearly stated, the user clearly didn't read it! For reference, it is here, on the Submit Your Experience page. This site does not discuss false allegations, as we are aware that they are hugely outnumbered by the numbers of actual allegations, which in themselves are hugely outnumbered by the actual occurrences, due to the low reporting rate of domestic abuse.

Moreover, the dilemma for courts is that their decisions about not allowing visitation can lead to these horrific crimes just as much as their decisions to allow visitation.

No. This is completely untrue. We know that the family courts need reform - we support their reform; especially if those reforms include training all staff, including CAFCASS, social workers, magistrates, legal advisors, solicitors and other legal professionals in the root causes of domestic abuse. Many court staff seem ignorant of these issues and perpetuate myths around domestic violence, allowing the abuse to continue via the family courts. They do not seem to understand the issue of children's safety in relation to domestic abuse, nor what constitutes a 'good' parent.

It seems to us that the title of the post, 'More Loving Fathers Likely to Murder Their Children' should have been 'More Domestic Abusers Need to Find Ways to Retain Control or Take Revenge by Murdering their Children'.

This site is not a place to make excuses for the behaviour and choices of abusers, and we will continue to discuss the (often difficult) subject of men who abuse the women and children they purport to love.

To find more information about the murder of women by men's violence, see the Counting Dead Women campaign.

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