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Note: Varies by jurisdiction
Note: Varies by jurisdiction
|By victim or victims|
Filicide is the deliberate act of a parent killing their own child. The word filicide derives from the Latin words filius meaning "son" or filia meaning daughter and the suffix -cide meaning to kill, murder, or cause death. "A filicide" may refer to the parent who killed his or her child as well as to the criminal act that the parent committed.
A 1999 U.S. Department of Justice study concluded that between 1976 and 1997 in the United States, mothers were responsible for a higher share of children killed during infancy, while fathers were more likely to have been responsible for the murders of children age 8 or older. Furthermore, 52% of the children killed by their mothers (maternal filicide) were male, while 57% of the children killed by their fathers (paternal filicide) were male. Parents were responsible for 61% of child murders under the age of five. Sometimes, there is a combination of murder and suicide in filicide cases. On average, according to FBI statistics, 450 children are murdered by their parents each year in the US.
Children at Risk
In the United States, homicide is in the top five causes of deaths of children. A direct correlation has been identified between child abuse rates and child homicide rates. Research suggests children who are murdered by their parent(s) were physical abuse victims prior to death. This is often seen as an indicator of the larger issue being domestic violence.
- Familial killing terms:
- Parricide, the killing of one's parents or another close relative
- Matricide, the killing of one's mother
- Patricide, the killing of one's father
- Uxoricide, the killing of one's wife
- Mariticide, the killing of one's husband
- Sororicide, the killing of one's sister
- Fratricide, the killing of one's brother
- Prolicide, is the killing of one's offspring
- Avunculicide, the killing of one's uncle
- Nepoticide, the killing of one's nephew
- Non-familial killing terms from the same root:
- Deicide is the killing of a god
- Feticide is the killing of a fetus
- Genocide is the killing of a large group of people, usually a specific and entire ethnic, racial, religious or national group
- Homicide is the killing of any human
- Infanticide, the killing of an infant from birth to 12 months
- Regicide is the killing of a monarch (king or ruler)
- Tyrannicide is the killing of a tyrant
- Greenfeld, Lawrence A., Snell, Tracy L. (1999-02-12, updated 2000-03-10). "Women Offenders" (PDF). NCJ 175688. US Department of Justice. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2011-07-08. Check date values in:
- Friedman, S., H., M.D., Horwitz, S., M., Ph.D., and Resnick, P., J., M.D.. (2005). Child murder by mothers: A critical analysis of the current state of knowledge and a research agenda. Am J Psychiatry 162:1578-1587 
- USA Today. Parents who do the unthinkable -- kill their children
- Holmes, Ronald M.; Holmes, Stephen T. (2001). Murder in America. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc. p. 116.