The little girl returned from an access visit saying that her father had tried to smother her, but he claimed she had choked on some food. As her mother recalled later, 'She was only three, but she knew the difference between a pillow and a biscuit.' "Come with Daddy" examines the tragic crime of familicide, the murder-suicide of children and a parent in the context of a dispute over custody or access. The trauma of this offence reverberates through the families, communities and across generations, causing mental and physical illness and social dysfunction. Carolyn Johnson has studied Family Court files, police records and newspaper reports, but the most haunting insights come from the survivors. They have courageously relived this darkest period in their lives in the hope that their stories might provide clues to prevent such crimes happening again. Across the sample of offences a clear pattern emerges of obsession, depression, violence, control and retaliation. These events were not inexplicable or aberrant.
In every case, there were obvious warning signs that the perpetrator was deeply disturbed - a history of violence, stalking behaviour, threats to kill, even rehearsal of the offence. "Come with Daddy" explodes the myths and sets out the stark lessons. If the danger signs can be recognised, perhaps these crimes can be prevented. Every person who has contact with troubled families - counsellors, social workers, court officials, lawyers, police, doctors, teachers and the general community - needs to read this book. As one mother, whose child was killed during the holiday season, said: 'I wish I hadn't let him have her for Christmas. I thought I had a lifetime of Christmases.'
Buy Come with Daddy book by Carolyn Harris Johnson from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(207mm x 139mm x 9mm)
University of Western Australia Press
Publisher: UWA Publishing
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