A review of maternal neonaticide: a need for further research supporting evidence-based prevention in Australia

Lilian De Bortoli, Janice Yvonne Coles, Margaret Catherine Dolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The risk of being killed is greatest within the first 24 hours of birth. Despite this, less is known about neonaticide compared with other homicides, particularly those occurring in the Australian context. A highly publicised case of neonaticide attracting an 18-year sentence recently provoked debate about the introduction of prevention strategies, such as `Safe Havens? and baby hatches in Australia. This paper reviews the limited international literature on risk factors associated with neonaticide and provides an insight into recent developments on the introduction of Safe Haven laws in the US. Little is known about the risk factors associated with neonaticide in Australia. Given recent interest in developing policies to prevent or reduce neonaticide in Australia, there is a pressing need for more research in this area. Copyright ? 2013 John Wiley Sons, Ltd. `Little is known about the risk factors associated with neonaticide in Australia?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327 - 339
Number of pages13
JournalChild Abuse Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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