Is your child’s life at risk with your ex?
Infanticide rates are up worldwide. I don’t have the exact statistics nor the manpower to do the actual research to get reliable numbers (will leave that to the super-blogs and websites on the subject of divorce) but I have definitely noticed a trend in the number of parents who are killing their kids right around the time (immediately before or after) the subject of divorce comes up.
This is not a new phenomenon, certainly. But it seems that the numbers of children who fall victim to parental rage, post-divorce is spiking all across the world. Why do some parents turn their rage on the kids? It’s hard to fathom, hard to explain. But one theory is that by killing the child or children, the parent feels that they have gotten back at their ex, that they have exacted the maximum amount of pain they possibly can. The idea is, if I can’t have you, you can’t have my kids. That is not to say that step-children are not also at risk. But the number of step-children who are murdered by a step-parent would likely be less than for biological children. Indeed, it appears that the sense of “possession” that a biological parent has to his or her own child, is markedly diminished when it comes to step children. If a step-parent murders a step-child in retaliation for divorce, it’s usually a case of spite and vindictiveness. The ultimate goal is the same: to exact maximum hurt. But the reasoning somehow changes. It becomes more like, “how would you like it if I killed your son, beyatch!” Versus “if you don’t want me, you can’t have my son, beyatch!” See the difference?
What can a parent do if they feel their child may be at risk for being murdered by a raging parent? Oh, and by the way, there were two incidences of raging parents killing kids just this week. Read here and here. So, what can a parent realistically do? Not that much, unfortunately. If you suspect it is going to happen, you can try to get an order of protection from the court or the police department. But you would have to have proof. Perhaps the parent made some threats or something. The rub, though, is, that normally, no threats are made. The raging parent keeps the rage inside, picks up the children as the normally do, and next thing you know, you never see your child alive again.
This is a tough, tough situation. Because, again, unless you have some sort of proof or grounds for your allegations, no court is going to cut off a parent’s visitation. Overt rage, as I said, is easy to deal with. The thing is that the type of person who would commit infanticide of their own children are often covertly angry and rageful. They act fine on the surface. But beneath it all, they are plotting some truly hellacious things for your child and by the time you figure it out, they child is already dead, and may too, the raging parent commits suicide after their murderous acts are completed.
I am of the school of thought, though, that these things don’t happen in a vacuum. People give off some sort of sign before they do these awful things. There is something they say or do, or fail to say or fail to do, that clues you in to their intentions. The trouble is, we tend to ignore a lot of signs. When someone speaks, as Oprah likes to say, we need to listen more.
One thing for parents of young children to think about is that they can sometimes contribute to the problem by how they act towards the other spouse. Sometimes a parent’s/ex’s rage is a result of feeling pushed to the wall and feeling helpless due to “hardness” in attitude from the other parent. When you are going through a divorce, try not to be too hard, callous and unfeeling. I’m not trying to take the blame off the murderer, only to try to help you to avoid getting your child murdered by a deranged spouse. Try to be reasonable in all of your interactions with this person. Try not to be too contentious and vindictive yourself. This could save your child’s life. And listen and look for signs that the other parent is not quite there. If you suspect anything at all is amiss, get help from the courts, the police department, family or wherever you can. In these types of cases, a nick in time can really save the life of your child.