Between 1990 and 2009, 48 children were killed in Norway. Almost half of the killings were committed by fathers who then took their own lives, according to a new survey.
The figures come from the research of doctoral student Vibeke Ottesen, who has surveyed the killing of children during a period of 20 years, writes Aftenposten.
– My research shows that there is a predictable pattern around infanticide in Norway. This could make it possible to prevent such murders, Ottesen, who is a criminologist and doing research on murders and killings at the University of Oslo, says .
In addition to many of the perpetrators taking or trying to take their own lives, seven of the perpetrators were psychotic. If you add up the two categories, they account for 31 of the 39 perpetrators.
– We should therefore direct our attention particularly to parents who are at risk of becoming psychotic and to fathers with suicidal thoughts if we want to initiate preventive measures, says Ottesen.
– We should ask fathers in the middle of a crisis straight out if they have suicidal thoughts and what plans they have for their children. This applies not only to employees of support agencies, but anyone who comes in contact with people in the middle of a crisis.
Ottesen says that “many of the perpetrators are good parents until these incidents happen.”
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today