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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


DE LA ESPRIELLA, Ricardo. Histories of unimputable filicidal women due to mental illness . rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.35, n.3, pp.282-327. ISSN 0034-7450.

Objective: The main objective of this work is to analyse the histories of filicidal women who are unimputable due to mental illness, and also to determine if there is a characterization in this group of women, if there is a meaning to the act, and if it fits in personal and family histories. Methods: This is a qualitative investigation by means of semi-structured interviews of filicidal women in the unimputables’ program of the Ministry of Social Protection in Colombia. Eight cases are analysed from 1997 to 2003. Personal interviews, audio taping and further categorisation by deductive and inductive methods was performed. Cases are shown with clinical vignettes, general data and qualitative analysis. Imputable women or cases not yet judged were excluded. The women signed an informed consent form, and data was kept confidential and will not be used in the legal process. Results: This sample was characterized by adult age (mean 26.5 years), low education level, dependence on a masculine figure, devaluation of the feminine role, history of childhood abuse, and death or absence of one or both parents. Two multiple filicide cases are shown and one case of neonaticide; child characteristics vary from wanted to unwanted pregnancies, and from only child to children with siblings. Victims are of both genders equally. Conclusion: There is not an only profile of mother, child, or type of crime.

Keywords : Infanticide; filicide; neonaticide; unimputabilit; mental illness.

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