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Les néonaticides en France : analyse de 357 cas identifiés dans la presse (1993-2012)

Abstract : Background and objectives: Despite easy access to contraception and child abandonment in France, neonaticides continue to occur and, although rare, are widely publicized. The objective of this study was to characterize neonaticides and their perpetrators over a twenty-year period in France based on cases reported in the press.Methods: 2,319 press articles describing the discovery of a newborn corpse in the regional and national press were extracted from electronic databases or other digital supports. A total of 357 neonaticides were described, corresponding to a mean annual rate of 2.34 per 100,000 births.Results: The mother was identified in 74% of cases. The corpse was usually discovered in the house or garden (35%, mostly in the rubbish bin and 6% in the freezer), but also in the wilds (31%). In almost one-quarter of cases, the mother had suffered a haemorrhage. Most neonates were killed by asphyxiation (35%), direct blows or being thrown out of a window (11%), or drowning (11%). Only 22% of neonates died without the mother’s intervention, due to lack of care or neglect. Marked regional disparities were observed, even after calculation of regional rates. The mothers responsible (230 women due to 19 multiple neonaticides) had a mean age of 27.8 years and half of them had at least one other living child.Conclusions: Media coverage of neonaticides and access to electronic databases provide an opportunity to describe a rare phenomenon, for which it is difficult to collect sufficient sample sizes to allow analysis of the perpetrators and court rulings.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 3:17:08 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 11, 2022 - 1:13:17 PM



Laurence Simmat-Durand. Les néonaticides en France : analyse de 357 cas identifiés dans la presse (1993-2012). Santé Publique, Société Française de Santé Publique, 2017, 29 (3), pp.321-31. ⟨10.3917/spub.173.0321⟩. ⟨hal-03480101⟩



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