Dawson delivers keynote at filicide conference in Italy

Canada Research Chair Dr. Myrna Dawson delivered a keynote address this week at a conference in the medieval centre of Prato, Italy, being held to address the socio-legal problem of the killing of children by their parents or guardians. The conference “Addressing Filicide: Moving to Prevention” is the second international conference on this topic following the inaugural meeting held in 2013 at which Dr. Dawson also delivered a keynote address. This second conference is building on the first by moving the focus to the prevention of filicide with participation of researchers, policy specialists and service providers from a diverse range of countries and backgrounds. Recognising that filicide is not a uniform phenomenon but rather one that encompasses and overlaps with a heterogeneity of circumstances, characteristics and motives causing fatal harm to children, the conference provided delegates with more structured opportunities for discussion through break-out sessions and discussion groups. The goal is to strengthen existing research collaborations and build new ones to allow for more nuanced inter-country comparisons, leading to the development of local and global strategies of support, intervention and prevention. To begin to address this gap and focusing on domestic violence death reviews, Dr. Dawson presented the results of an examination of more than 200 recommendations generated by the Ontario Domestic Violence Death Review Committee during the past decade, highlighting the role played by issues related to child welfare and safety and how these issues interact with other risk factors to increase lethality in these cases. Her overall objective was to underscore the importance of identifying the prevention potential of recommendations from a public health perspective. Participants were in attendance from Australia, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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