Familicide from a clinical-community psychology perspective


In this article familicide and homicide-suicide acts in South Africa and elsewhere are discussed. Issues that are considered include the following: the definition of familicide, the incidence of cases, population groups involved, the role of suicide, the role of psychopathology, familial versus nonfamilial murderers, the influence of stress, male proprietariness in combination with an exaggerated sense of responsibility, age and gender, and sociopolitical influences. A n attempt is made to integrate the personal and societal factors of familicide from a clinical-community psychology perspective, relying specifically on the theories of Frantz Fanon and Hussein Bulhan. It is proposed that an understanding of the oppressor-oppressed relationship, as well as threats to that relationship, may shed light on the current high rate of familicide that occurs mostly among white Afrikaner, South African males, and their families.