Men and women kill their children in roughly equal numbers, and we need to understand why

Insight 21 January 2021
Family First Comment: Australian commentary – but applies equally to NZ….
“ Mothers are also more likely to kill their children during a psychotic episode. For example, in 2017, a court found Raina Thaiday of Queensland, who killed her seven children and niece, had been experiencing a severe psychotic episode linked to schizophrenia triggered by long-term cannabis use.”

On average, one child is killed by a parent almost every fortnight in Australia.

Last week, three children — Claire, 7, Anna, 5, and Matthew, 3 — were included in this terrible number. Homicide investigators have formed the “preliminary view” that their mother, Katie Perinovic, was responsible for their deaths before killing herself.

Their grieving father, Tomislav Perinovic, and Katie Perinovic’s parents have reportedly accepted the police’s version of events.

It was less than a year ago that Hannah Clarke and her children Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey were killed by their father, Rowan Baxter, who doused their car in petrol and set it alight.

In 2019, Anthony Harvey was sentenced to life in prison in Perth for killing his small children Charlotte, Alice and Beatrix, his wife Mara and her mother Beverley.

Also that year, Charmaine McLeod is suspected to have deliberately caused the head-on collision in Queensland that killed her and her four young children, Aaleyn, Matilda, Wyatt and Zaidok.

How do we make sense of such unfathomable crimes, and what do we know about why they happen?