Economic hardship biggest reason behind tragic decision: research
By Ko Dong-hwan
The number of homicide-suicides committed by South Korean parents on young children is increasing as a tragic new social problem, and experts are urging the government to develop a safety net to protect vulnerable families.
In late June, three family members were found dead in a limousine that crashed into the waters of Kashima-gun, South Korea. Police investigations found traces of sleeping pills on their bodies and concluded that their parents committed suicide and acted to kill their 10-year-old daughter. Officials also pointed out that the Gwangju family is suffering from financial difficulties this year.
Her husband was in financial distress due to his large debt, killing his child and attempting suicide three times. She appeared in police two days after her murder.
The number of suicides and their children is only a small part of the total number of suicides in the country. According to records from 2013 to her 2017, parents killed and died 269 children, which is equivalent to her 0.44% of all suicides during that period.
This number is equivalent to 0.11 per 100,000 inhabitants. International comparisons are difficult because very few countries have official statistics on this. According to the state-run KBS, the Netherlands has compiled such statistics, with 0.05 per 100,000 inhabitants, and experts believe that South Korea’s share is relatively high.
According to other data from the Korea State Crimes Justice Institute, the number of homicide suicides (including attempted suicides) from 2000 to 2019 was 426, with 58% of these deaths being the murdered spouse. Or it was by a child.
The issue came into focus after experts pointed out that the country was lazy to keep records of homicide and suicide and prepare precautionary measures. According to 4,444 experts, the root cause is chronic financial difficulties, more common than despair and financial problems, and many parents are helpless with their children alone after their suicide. I couldn’t stand the idea of becoming.
A Korean court also ruled lightly on parents who killed their children. This may have contributed to the increase in homicide. In the last decade, 29 people in the country have been charged with killing children and committing suicide. Only five were sentenced to what is generally considered a “serious” sentence (16 years or more in prison), and only four were sentenced to probation.
The Court considered the parents’ “regret” as a reason to lighten the sentence. Experts considered such decisions by judges problematic, adding that their views were more in line with murderers than with victims.
Experts believe that the perception of their children’s parents as their “property” in Korean society is another reason for the high rate of murder-suicide.
“Parents have no right to control their children’s lives, no matter how desperate the situation is,” said an official from the international NGO Save the Children. “The core problem is that they don’t see their children as separate people.”
Authorities also took precautionary measures when child murder was taken seriously and parental motives were investigated. He pointed to the example of developed countries where the “We need to start building a database of these deaths and use it as the basis for setting up our own safety net,” officials said.
Credit/Source : KoreaTimes