Neonaticide in our present day society.
Killing your baby, what could be more depraved? For a woman to destroy the fruit of her womb would seem like an ultimate violation of the natural order. But every year, hundreds of women commit neonaticide: they kill their newborns or just let them die. Most neonaticides remain undiscovered , but every once in a while a janitor follows a trail of blood to a tiny body in a trash bin, or a woman faints and doctors find the remains of a placenta inside of her. The day you are born is the day you are most likely to be the victim of homicide. This cheerless statistic holds true whether you live in South Africa or any other part of the world. The perpetrator will almost certainly be your mother. Research has shown that she will most likely be under 25, unmarried, still living at home or in poor circumstances, either still at school or unemployed, emotionally immature and astonishingly secretive. She has carried you to full term without telling a soul of your existence. And somehow the parents with whom she resides never suspect she is with child. Until of course it becomes obvious. Now that you are born, it’s not depression or psychosis that moves her to murder you. Mental illness rarely plays a part in this sort of killing. Nor is she overwhelmed by the feeling that life is simply too harsh for such a defenseless little creature for whom she cares a great deal. There is rarely great violence in the manner that she kills you, her new born child. She may simply abandon you to the elements. The only intense feeling she has is the desire to see you gone. She may even deny that you exist at all. This is the profile of neonaticide, the murder of a newborn in its first 24 hours of life, and a form of infanticide peculiar to industrialized countries. Two cases have riveted the public recently. Last November, Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson, 18 year old college sweethearts, delivered their baby in a motel room and according to...
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