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Author(s) Johnson, Carolyn Mary Harris
Sachmann, Mark
Year 2014
Title Familicide‐Suicide: From Myth To Hypothesis And Toward Understanding
Published in Family Court Review, Vol. 52, No. 1
Pages 100–113
DOI 10.1111/fcre.12073
Abstract Familicide‐suicide following separation is an underresearched and poorly understood offense. Findings from previous research are inconclusive about risk factors and perpetrator motivation. This article explores common myths about the offense in relation to some of the findings from two studies of familicide‐suicide following separation undertaken in Western Australia. A new conceptualization of the offense is proposed based on attachment theory, the neurobiology of trauma, and the possible subconscious motivation of perpetrators, which may be helpful in assessing risk of familicide‐suicide in family court cases.
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