Year: 1997 Source: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, v.12, no.1, (February 1997), p.49-69 SIEC No: 20020624

Because the innocence & vulnerability of children typically arouse feelings of nurturance & protectiveness, how do we understand homicides involving women who have killed children? In a study examining the role of drugs in homicides committed by women, life history interviews with 42 women convicted of killing children were conducted. Repeated experiences of damage to the self, including physical & sexual victimization, suicide attempts, & substance abuse, were evident throughout the lives of these women. The extent that these self-damage indicators interfered with the women’s ability to parent children is discussed. Links between these self-damage experiences & the homicide are explored. (48 refs)