National Post

Page URL: http://www.nationalpost.com/news.asp?f=990612/2714791

Saturday, June 12, 1999

Parents accused of child killing on rise: report
Lack of support cited

Rick Mofina
Southam News

OTTAWA - The number of mothers and fathers accused of killing their children has more than doubled over the past decade, a Statistics Canada report on family violence shows.

"The number of mothers and fathers accused of killing their children has risen over the past decade, which is contrary to the trend of spousal homicide and total homicides," says the report, Family Violence: A Statistic Profile, which looked at figures for 1997.

"More than one-half of the children involved in these cases were under the age of three," the study said. "Fathers were implicated in 37 homicides, up from a low of 16 in 1992. For mothers the number has fluctuated over the past decade, but has increased from 12 to 25 between 1995 and 1997."

The profile shows that children under the age of 18 represented 17% of Canada's homicide victims in 1997 and that family members, "mostly parents," were responsible for 76% of these homicides, "a significant increase over the average of 59%" over the previous 10 years.

"It may reflect an erosion of the support that parents have traditionally had been able to look to in the community," said Helen Jones, spokeswoman for the Association of Parent Support Groups.

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