Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Children of Uxoricide - When one parent kills the other....what happens to the children?

Posted by Hannah at 10:18 AM




I found this video on youtube, and they are speaking of a segment of the population that are pretty much ignored. They are speaking about the children that are left after one parent kills the other. What happens to them, and the silence they are forced to take on about that day/night when they lost both of their parents.

I can't imagine the pain and torment these children have to stuff away to make it comfortable for the rest of the world, and yet I have to be reminded that even before the death that silence was there.



In this video they are going to speak about what they call, 'uxoricide'. Its a clinical term for when one parent kills the other. The video speaks of what happens to those children after this has taken place.

Most of the time when uxoricide happens the child is taken to live with a grandmother, and in this study those grandmothers asked, 'What about the children? How do we raise them? How do we help them?' They did a search, and there was no material at all about this. None. There was research about the happening of when one parent kills the other, but nothing about afterwards.

They had to do some background for the study, and wanted to start with some adults that had this happen to them during their children.....and what happened to them.

They started to use what they call the 'Campbell' study, and they found that in 65% of the cases children were home during the homicide. 43% witnessed the homicide. They also wanted to see many children were actually effected, and they came up with a number just over 4,000 children nationwide. They wanted to compare that to another group of children, and they picked childhood leukemia in which 2,600 to 2,800 children are effected. How much more funding and attention do those poor children get compared to those of uxoricide! We have a huge segment of the children that are pretty much being ignored.

They study currently had spoke to 40 adult survivors or uxoricide, and they were holding this talk in hopes of finding additional adults to help them with this study. They were looking towards the audience for referrals in a way. They wanted to have 90 total to make the study complete in some fashion.

Things they found that happened later in their lifes in many of the participates:

1) Continued violence in their lifes. The number of men and women were equally effected by uxorcide, and both genders were found that violence continued in their lifes. Women reported about being victims, and men were the most up front about the fact they were abusive to their partners. The men were very open about this fact, and once they were arrested they realized they were no better than their father. It effected them so much that alot of them finally turned their lifes around. They learned to find ways of helping themselves, and others to wake up about the effects of domestic violence.

I thought that was quite interesting! What about you?

2) The second item is that these children make peace with the parent that killed. Once their parent is released from jail they feel they must reestablish a relationship with that parent.

Common themes:

'We all make mistakes!'
'He was in a blackout! He didn't know what he was doing!'
'Venegance is mine says the Lord' Its not my place to judge what he did.'
'No matter how sick that family tree is - I'm still a branch of it!' I can't escape or cut the family off.
'He is the only grandfather my children will ever have! I can't take that away from them!' Remember we are speaking of adults that grew up after this happened!

One set of daugthers that witnessed their mother being shot, and fell to the floor asked her daugthers to go and get her bible. She then told them to NOT hate their father for what he did....he is sick! She then died. Those two daugthers are now taking care of Dad in their lifes.

In alot of ways children see this as loyality to the memory of their mother.

One chilling story I remember is a child remembering the news media after it happened. The media reported that, 'Estranged husband shot and killed his wife'. This child turned to her sister and said, "SEE everyone knew Dad was strange, and no one did anything to stop him!'

3) I just about cried when I heard that these adult children mentioned that this study was the first and only time in their lifes that they were really allowed to ever really talk about this part their lifes.

Most people encourage the children NOT to talk about it. These children of uxoricide should be able to talk about it.

What happens is that if they children were witnesses of the parent being killed they are told NOT to talk about it before the trial! After the trial no one ever tells these children.......its okay to talk about it now.

The children reported that those people that took them in after the uxoricide told them to place the past behind them, and move on! We aren't going to talk about that - it was something bad! Its important now to just get your life together!

Sound familiar? Those children wanted and needed to talk about it.....and in most cases were told NOT to!

4) They also found that most of these children had just one important person in their lifes that impacted them afterwards. Most of the time these children are placed in foster care, and shuffled around from home to home for the rest of their lifes.

One brother and sister mentioned an Aunt they had. She wasn't around that much, but kept in contact with them. Their aunt was a missionary, and was gone much of the time. The aunt came once the homoside took place - which mom shot dad - and she was placed in a mental wards for some months while the aunt took care of them. Once mom was released she was in no position to be taking care of anyone, but the aunt did leave to go back to work in the missionary field. Mom was a broken shell of a person, and wasn't capable of caring for anyone. One thing the children did remember was the aunt was always in contact. She would send letters, tapes and packages. They said just knowing she was there - even if on the other side of the world really made a difference in their lifes.


5) What do you call the person (mom or dad that killed) afterwards?

Most of the time they found that people could NOT refer their parent as MOM or DAD, because it may insult this child or children in some way. They start to call this parent by their first name. That was very troublesome to the children! They wanted to continue to call them MOM or DAD!

6) In alot of cases children find mom or dad after they have been killed, and try to clean up the room or the mess. Its one of the most painful memories, and yet is constant with these children's memories.

They look at it as trying to take care of the mom or the dad.

At the end of the video one of the men that did this study presented a study of one of the families (children) of uxoricide.

The last portion was a women that survived this in her childhood, and spoke of a conversation she had with her grandchild.

'Grandma where is your Mom and Dad?'

'Where is my Mom and Dad honey?'

'Grandma your Mom and Dad are in heaven!'

'Your right! They are!'

Even after all these years this women had such a hard time speaking of this, and she had such a hard time just keeping it together to speak to this group of people.

I found the silence is always present during these cases. Silence is there when its happening, and silence and denial is happening after an escape for that life. Silence is even there when someone is killed.

I'm praying for these children of uxoricide, and I will pray for the adult survivors as well. I will pray that the silence is broken, and people are finally allow to speak of this. My hope for them is peace finally. Love, Joy and Peace!


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4 comments:

Kathleen McBrair on 7:20 PM said...

While this is older, I wanted to say that there is so little being addressed even now on this topic. I only found the UVA and South Wales studies on the effects on children. I am an adult who dealt with this as a young child. I hesitate to use the word "survivor," because in many ways, I didn't. I do dearly hope that this trend of largely ignoring the issue changes.

Anonymous said...

I watched my Dad shoot and kill my Mother when I was 9 years old. I too was told not to talk about it. I have worked through the devastating abandonment but I know it still affects me. And now as an adult, I talk about it very openly. I want others to see that you can survive something so tragic. I will never stop missing my Mother and I will never feel another emotion for my biological Dad. He ripped her from our lives, me and my sisters. How unfair. It made me a bitter person for along time. But I want to honor my Mother by being a great Mother and Grandmother and she is with me in spirit every step of the way. And surviving this wouldn't have been possible without God's amazing grace. Tell me how else an innocent child could witness this and come out okay. You live with the shame the rest of your life. His ignorant and selfish action that day, affected so many people. So many people, even ones who hadn't been born yet. He committed suicide after shooting my Mother in front of me. I hate suicide. To me it's the ultimate F@*^ you. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Learn to deal with life.

Hannah on 6:04 PM said...

I'm so sorry Anonymous 2. I agree with you about the ultimate F*** You. Your best revenge is going out and living the best life you can. Which sounds like you are. GOOD for YOU! My the Lord continue to be with you all the days of your life.

Anonymous said...

I witnessed my mothers murder at 3. My sister was 4. Her daughter witnessed her murder at 5. I'm so scared that my now 18 year old niece will end up like my sister, or me. I'm not sure which would be worse. Why is there no help for us? Why are we not allowed to talk about it?
I'll tell you why.... because we make people uncomfortable.
Until people decide that children's mental health is more important than their comfort level the cycle of domestic violence will continue.

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