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Children bereaved as a result of domestic homicide

Date:16 MAY 2013

Maria Ruegger

Consultant Guardian

Margaret De Jong

Consultant Child Psychiatrist Child Care Consultation Team Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Great Ormond St Hospital:

In this article we share our current thinking about the psychological challenges faced by children who suddenly lose both parents one permanently and the other to the criminal justice system. These children often undergo further disruptions in terms of home school friendships and routines. Many will be troubled by intrusive memories of the violent scenes they have witnessed and some experience feelings of guilt about failing to protect the deceased parent. These children are also likely to be caught up in conflict between extended family members and be cared for by adults who are themselves struggling to manage intense feelings of grief and traumatic stress and whose ability to assist children with processing their feelings about their losses is compromised as a result.   If the tragic event is the outcome of pre-existing domestic violence parental mental illness substance misuse or personality difficulties...

Read the full article here.