What drives a young person to kill their family members? Find out in Portraits of Pain by Melanie Moen
More about the book!
Portraits of Pain: Children Who Kill Family Members by Melanie Moen is out now from LAPA Uitgewers.
Somehow it seems as if the odds were against them.
Were they destined to become killers of their own flesh and blood? What drives a young person to kill family members? Why do they commit such violent and heartless acts?
Lives marred by psychological abuse, a lack of attachment with parents, neglect, difficulties growing up, complex circumstances, difficulty making friends, shattered intergenerational relationships, the author identifies what may have given rise to the events in the lives of these cases.
By making extensive use of in-depth case studies, based on interviews with various stakeholders, court and psychological records, visits to incarceration facilities, the author uses the lens of phenomenology to delve into the psyche of these young people in their teens and early twenties who committed recent murders that captured the attention of the southern African public.
According to the author, ‘the aim of the book was to create understanding and insight into the child who commits family murder. This book sets out to explore, interpret and understand the major factors associated with family member murders committed by children. I wanted to gain a deep understanding of the reasons behind such murders – to illuminate the children’s lived experiences and the contributing systemic and individual factors. I wanted to determine if a sample specific profile of such a child could be compiled.’
About the author
Dr Melanie Moen is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Pretoria. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and her research interests include family murder by children and youth violence.