Number 1 Cause Of Death For 10-14 Year Olds Child Homicide In US

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Child Homicide In US

Infanticide is one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of 15 in the United States. In the 1-14 age group, homicide deaths rank 4th behind deaths from unintentional injuries, birth defects, and infectious diseases. Infanticide is the single leading cause of childhood death that has increased over the past three decades. In most cases, children are victims of many of the same crimes as adults. They are also victims of other crimes such as child abuse and childhood neglect. The impact of these crimes on young victims can be devastating, and child violent or sexual victimization can often lead to an intergenerational cycle of violence and abuse.

Homicides in early childhood (ages 4 and younger), middle childhood (ages 5–9), and late childhood (ages 10–14) differ along several dimensions, suggesting that they should be analyzed separately.

The statistical data depicted in the three charts (each for a given age group) reflect the number of child murders between 1999 and 2007.

Age group 1-4 years. TOTAL DEAD – 3,462 ALL RACES, BOTH GENDER

In most cases, children in this age group were murdered by their relatives. 61% were murdered by their parents. 30% were killed by mothers, 31% by fathers. Homicidal deaths of infants and young children were usually the result of parental attempts to control children’s behavior. These deaths appeared to be unintentional and related to the physical vulnerability of a child younger than the attacking adult. Another leading cause of death for this age group is suicide. Altruism, acute psychosis, unwanted child and spousal revenge are the most common motives for parents’ murderous behavior. Altruistic culpable homicide is characterized by the motive to relieve the child from real or imagined suffering and includes murder involving suicide. Acute psychotic infanticide involves parents who kill under the influence of severe mental illness or drugs. In unwanted infanticide, the victim is never or no longer wanted by the parents. These filicides are usually committed because of uncertain paternity. Accidental homicide is the unintentional death due to child abuse that usually follows the abused child syndrome, and spousal revenge homicide describes children who are killed to avenge or punish their parent’s partner. Mothers who commit infanticide tend to be married and report high levels of stress and a lack of support and resources when committing the crime.

5-9 year olds. TOTAL DEAD – 1250 ALL RACES, BOTH GENDER

Middle childhood is a time when the risk of infanticide is relatively low. Although children in this age group may face significant violence, both in the form of parental assaults at home and peer aggression at school and in the neighborhood, relatively little is fatal. Obviously, the homicide rate in this age group is low because this is a transitional period. Children ages 5-9 have outgrown the characteristics that make very young children vulnerable to adult violence, but have not begun to engage in activities that increase the homicide rate of older children. It takes more force and energy to fatally injure a 5-9 year old than a younger child. At the same time, middle childhood children are protected from some of the dangers affecting adolescents. They are usually under the supervision and protection of adults, and most of them have not yet had access to guns, drugs and cars.

10-14 year olds. TOTAL DEAD – 1965 ALL RACES, BOTH GENERATION

Compared to homicides against children younger than 10-12 years of age, homicides among children in this group are more similar to homicides against adults. Similar to homicides against adults, homicides against teenagers usually involve a male victim being killed by the perpetrator with a firearm, knife or other sharp object. In contrast to homicides against children under 10, relatively few teenage homicides are committed by family members. The number of homicide victims killed by other juvenile offenders is much higher for children in this age group. Despite this, two-thirds of teenage homicide victims are killed by adults. The increase in the number of teenagers in the late 1990s and early 2000s can be attributed to a number of factors, including the expansion of gang activity, competition in the drug market, and the increased availability of firearms. The increase in child homicides in this age group was almost entirely in the firearm homicide category.

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