Exploring adversities among parents convicted of killing their children
Abrahams, Naeemah Abrahams
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Experiencing adversities has been associated with the use of violence but this has not been explored with filicide offenders in South Africa. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 parents/stepparents/caregivers convicted of child homicide in South Africa, resulting in 49 in-depth interviews. Data were analyzed by means of grounded theory. Using an ecological framework, this study alludes to the widespread and cumulative nature of violence and trauma experiences within multiple domains of the participants’ lives. The study highlighted the absence of support in the aftermath of experiencing trauma, possibly resulting in these parents lacking resources to mitigate the sequelae of adverse experiences. This study calls for trauma related, mental health components to be integrated into violence interventions and for these to address the impact of trauma at the individual, family, and societal levels, to prevent the transition from victim to offender.