In Russia, several dozen women are tried per year for the murder of their child. In the dock there are housewives with many children and successful managers. And so not only in Russia. Psychiatrists in the United States have calculated that one in four mothers at least once in their life had the thought of killing a child. Why do mothers kill children and how do they then live?
The names in the text are changed to respect the rights and legitimate interests of minors affected by unlawful acts.
When Petr Krotenko returned from work, the apartment in the south-west of Moscow was dark and quiet. Flip the bathroom switch. I saw my seven month old son. He was lying underwater in the bath. “Somehow it was immediately clear that he was dead,” Krotenko recalls. Air force.
His wife Alyona was not at home. The next day, passers-by found her on the shore of a lake near Moscow. During the interrogation, Alain said she killed her son and went to kill herself. I drank a bottle of vodka on the beach, went to the water and lost consciousness.
Two days before the death of her son, she asked her husband to send her to the hospital. “I kind of didn't attach any importance to this - she was taking pills, I thought everything would be fine,” recalls Peter. During the interrogation, the woman said: “I was afraid not to cope with the child. It was better to stop it so that no one would suffer. "
According to Alena's testimony, she fed her son, “talked to him what would be better for him - live or die,” filled the bathtub and submerged him five times, looking into his eyes.
“All this could have been avoided if at least someone had said a few words to her that she might have depression,” her husband is sure. “At least one lesson about this in the courses of future mothers!”.
In May Alena was diagnosed with polymorphic personality disorder and sent for compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital.
"If I had taken her to the hospital, this would not have happened."
Economist Alena met chemist Peter at a lecture in Gorky Park. They met for three years, got married, they had a boy. Pregnancy was desirable: a couple bought a dozen pajamas, a cot and a stroller ahead of time. The deliveries took place in the paid department of the Perinatal Medical Center, which is headed by the famous obstetrician Mark Kurtser.
On maternity leave, Alena attended courses for pregnant women. “For five or six lessons she was taught to feed, swaddle, talked about the child's illness and care. And they said that childbirth is fabulous, everything will be wonderful, motherhood is a gift. And the fact that there might be problems of a mental or psychological nature was not even discussed, ”recalls Krotenko.
Peter did not know that his wife had been seen by a psychiatrist in the past: “She had one such psychopathic episode in the past, when she heard voices, saw some demons, but I found out about it only after giving birth. She was cured and the birth, as we now know, triggered stress and relapse. ”
After giving birth, the boy fell ill with pneumonia, he was sent to intensive care. He recovered, and Alena lost sleep. “She said she could not cope with the child. Later we consulted a psychiatrist. She, in principle, understood what was the matter, prescribed medications to her wife, but, as it seemed to me, she did not warn us very much that there could be dangerous consequences, that you need to be careful, you don’t need to leave your mother with the child, ”says Petr ...
Then their son was a month and a half. The pills improved the situation, but not for long. It was evident that his wife was very tired, he continues. “We went to the doctors for several months,” says Petr. "Nobody warned us about anything."
Alena's case was considered this spring in one of the Moscow courts. Peter came to every meeting. I stood at the “aquarium” in which his wife was, asking if the T-shirts fit her, if she was hot in the jail cell. The mother-in-law also came - in the corridor she talked about the growing granddaughter, daughter of Alena's brother. She has already begun to walk on the crib, reach for the phone and call her mother.
“She had no malicious intent, just a psychological breakdown,” says Peter. "If she had got the right doctors, if I had taken her to the hospital as she asked, this would not have happened."
Peter's confusion is understandable: he and his wife faced one of the main problems of infanticide, and not only in Russia. According to the American forensic scientist Philip Resnik, 40% of women were examined by a psychiatrist or other doctor shortly before the crime, which, in his words, is "discouraging." And Russian criminologists say that before the crime, 80% of women came to the doctor with various complaints - headache, insomnia, menstrual irregularities.
Alena herself did not want to communicate with BBC correspondents. “I don’t want to describe my situation and give my point of view, because for me it is too personal and the memories are too painful. In addition, my case is quite specific, not widely spread, so information about it will not help the general case much, ”she wrote from the pre-trial detention center while the trial was underway.
Krotenko is not right. This becomes clear when in the corridors of the courts in Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, Kemerovo or in the Kaluga colonies the defendants hear from us about the investigation of similar cases. Families experiencing the death of a child and the trial of his mother, it becomes easier on the eyes when they hear that they are not alone.
Who are they?
This little-studied and taboo crime is called filicide. The killing of the child by the mother. He has subspecies. Neonaticide - if the mother kills the newborn. Infanticide - when the killed is less than a year old.
According to Resnik, the risk of being murdered is especially high in the first five years of life. Parents most often kill children under the age of two and most often in the winter - around four in the morning.
There are separate laws on the killing of young children in more than in the 20 countries of the world, including Brazil, Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and Turkey. They soften the punishment for mothers whose victims have been children younger than a year, since from the beginning of the 20th century mother's mental equilibrium is considered impaired after delivery or breastfeeding.
In Russia, there is also a separate article for filicide - 106 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (murder by a mother of a newborn child). But it only applies to babies under one month old, not one year old. The maximum punishment is five years in prison. All other child killers are subject to paragraph “c” of the second part of Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (murder of a minor) - up to 20 years in a colony.
Accurate statistics throughout Russia is not. The Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of Russia reports that in 2018, 33 got such cases before the court. Employees of the Department of Criminalistics of the Kuban State University believe that there are eight times more unsolved episodes than criminal cases.
“All my friends have been asking me lately - have these cases become more frequent? I'll say no. This has always been the case, ”says a forensic psychiatrist, chief researcher at the Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry. Serbian Margarita Kachaeva. - Three or four places out of 20 beds in our women's department are occupied by infanticides every month. In other hospitals and regions, the numbers are different. ”
Accountant from Vladimir. The teacher from Nizhny Novgorod. The prosecutor from Belgorod. Unemployed from Volgograd. Social consultant from the Bratsk city hall. The waitress from Ryazan. A graduate of the Open Design Institute from Moscow. Large housewife from Derbent. Saleswoman from Tomsk.
In more than thirty stories we've worked with, all the heroines are different. Despite the stereotype of a semi-homeless, insolently drunk mother living with drug addicts, many child killers have a husband, a home and a job - and there are no addictions.
In Russia, according to studies of the Kuban State University, children are killed by women at the peak of fertility, 30-40 years. More than 74% never registered in a psycho-neurological dispensary, half of them were married, they already had children and postpartum mental disorders.
Doctors know that most often it is after childbirth that a latently current mental illness, which the mother did not even suspect, exacerbates. This means that a woman can live with a chronic disorder that does not manifest itself in everyday life. Pregnancy, childbirth or menopause - the three main stresses for the female body can wake him up.
"You will be sent to prison, I sympathize with you very much"
- Hello, ambulance, my child died.
- What did you do?
- He died.
- Like this?
- Well, like that.
- Where is it?
- Kukushkina, the house is one.
- Did he hurt you or what?
- Breast, just arrived.
- Full Name.
- Frolova Anna Nikolaevna.
- We recently took you to give birth.
- Yes Yes…
- And how she died, just died and that's it? Did you eat or sleep?
“Well, actually, I’m just to blame.
- Like this?
- Well, like that.
- You will be put in jail. No, I am not afraid, I really sympathize with you.
An ambulance with the city of Vladimir 38-year-old Anna Frolova phoned the morning of July 7 2018. In the fall, deciphering her conversation with a medical assistant became one of the pages of a criminal case initiated under article 106 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
Educator by education, Frolova gave birth to a daughter in June 2018. This was her third child. Frolova's sons, 18 and 10 years old, during interrogations called their sister a welcome baby, "whom the parents were waiting for." But with the approach of childbirth, Anna felt worse and worse: gastritis worsened, due to the threat of miscarriage, she lay on the shelf, childbirth began ahead of schedule.
The girl was born prematurely, and Frolova became very ill. “The pain is constant, the hellish pain was. I didn't feel anything else. I completely locked myself on this pain, because I have pain, it hurts, the pain in my stomach is endless, '' she says. “The cesarean scar festered very quickly. In the maternity hospital I was already in a stupor of some kind: I can't, I can't handle it. "
A psychologist was called to Anna. He advised her to relax, imagine that she is at sea, and upon arriving home, see a psychiatrist. “And I say: I have hellish pains, I can't! Now I'm going to climb the wall because of the pain! ”She says.
What happened next could alert not only Frolova's husband, children and girlfriends, but also neighbors with the police. First, Anna ran away from the hospital without a child, calling a taxi. She returned for her daughter with her husband. The husband soon left for Moscow - he got a job on a rotational basis.
Anna several times washed her apartment with "whiteness" - "for disinfection, I have infected you with pus from the seam." And to spend the night with the baby I went to a friend - she complained that she could not be at home alone. The next day, she left the children to her friend, saying that she would go to get the crib, but she herself went to the cemetery to her mother's grave. On the morning of the third day, she left the house barefoot with a baby in her arms - and could not explain to the police who detained her where she was going.
“Probably, then I was looking for help, although I do not remember anything. I was left alone with this pain, I went for help, ”Anna recalls. Her mother-in-law took her from the police and brought her home. Two-week old Vika was put in a stroller, fed, her mother-in-law turned on the TV.
As Frolova's mother-in-law will tell the investigators later, Anna at that time several times approached the wheelchair, worried if her daughter was breathing, and an hour later “stood near the wheelchair with a white pillow and put it there”. The mother-in-law decided that she would make the child more comfortable and continued to watch TV.
Around 10 in the morning, Anna received a call from her cousin to ask when to come to congratulate her on the birth of her daughter. “Don't you know? We will have a funeral. I carry my child's corpse in a stroller. I am rotting and infected him with a pus infection. So he died, ”investigators quote Frolova in the case file.
At 11 am Anna started calling the ambulance. The doctor, as stated in the file, she met at the entrance with the words: "Look, I think I killed him."
In court, the doctor said that the child was not breathing, there was a pillow on top of him, and blue-maroon spots appeared on his body, which appear from a lack of oxygen. Having established "clinical death", the doctor gave an injection of adrenaline, chest compressions and artificial respiration. The baby vomited and began to breathe.
With a preliminary diagnosis “Strangulation? Postresuscitation disease ”he was taken to the hospital. On August 1, Vika was discharged. Her mother, a defendant in a criminal case on the attempted murder of her own child, was sent to a psychiatric hospital for examination. She spent three months there.
“When the doctor prescribed pills to me - Amitriptyline, Zolasta, Elzepam - it became much easier for me. The injections were pierced, vitamins. At the examination, I was declared insane. Their questions were aimed at finding out if I had postpartum stress and psychosis. And so they found it out. If it had been revealed earlier, maybe nothing would have happened. I have spoken about this more than once - I need professional help, I am in a strange state, ”says Frolova.
Anna does not admit guilt - she says that she did not try to strangle her daughter, there was no pillow in the stroller, and she called the ambulance, fearing for the baby's breathing. The ambulance doctor, she said, is lying, the spots on the baby appeared after the injection. Anna's mother-in-law at the trial refused her testimony - she said that she had not seen any pillow.
In the hospital Frolova diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia.
“You have to understand that this is not necessarily complete insanity. When people say "mental disorder" in society, they immediately think of conversations with demons and a straitjacket. This is mistake. Women child killers with mental disorders before the crime can be socialized, never before being treated by psychiatrists and live a normal life, ”says Professor Kachaeva from the Center. Serbian.
In second place after schizophrenia in such cases is the diagnosis of "reactive state that has arisen after childbirth." These are temporary mental disorders, including advanced psychotic depression, and especially dangerous postpartum psychosis.
It happens to one or two women in a thousand. Sensual delusions and paranoia can be symptoms. Schizophrenia, psychosis, reactive states - all these diagnoses exclude the sanity of criminals. Such women are released from criminal punishment and sent to compulsory treatment.
The prosecutor in the Frolova case asks for the same. Anna came to one of the last court sessions with her child - one-year-old Vika had no one to leave with. In the hall they sat side by side. A child who stopped breathing for two minutes a year ago. His mother, who, according to investigators, tried to strangle him. And the doctor who gave him artificial respiration.
"Shame on you? Why are you lying? It will fly to you like a boomerang! You will not have your own children! ”Anna shouted to the doctor. The trial in her case continues.
"We were taught to endure in the old fashioned way"
Serious mental illness awakens against the background of depression, which is diagnosed in most of these mothers. Depression begins as neurotic (everything falls out of hand, weakness), and by the time of the crime takes on the character of psychosis. “This is longing reaching a psychotic level. There are ideas of worthlessness, uselessness of existence, ”explains Kachaeva.
On the morning of February 17, 2019, 21-year-old resident of Ufa, Arina Rafina, pulled a daughter who was eating pasta with meat from the table and went with her to the ninth-floor balcony. An hour later, the woman with her mother had to go to a psychiatrist, she asked for an appointment herself. But, not waiting for relatives, she decided to end her life with her daughter.
Closed and quiet since childhood, Rafina married in 19 years. She gave birth when her husband served in the army, and for the first year she lived with her child with her parents. After the birth, the neurologist sent her for an additional examination, but Arina never reached the doctors.
According to the mother-in-law, returning from the army, the son-in-law mistreated her daughter. “He scolded her often. He humiliated. "You're scary, you're an idiot, look at you, you're like an old woman." He forbade us to communicate with her, when she tried to return to live with us - she came and took the child, ”says Irina.
Her son-in-law, a children's massage therapist by profession, said in court that he raised his hand to Rafina only once - he gave a slap in the face and drove her face across the floor, where there were baby poop that she did not have time to wipe off the floor. He refused to communicate with the BBC.
Mother told Arina: you either get a divorce, or don't complain about him anymore, he will endure and fall in love, you yourself chose him. Now she regrets these words: "Well, we were taught in the old way - to endure." She came to court after the funeral of her unborn grandson - the second daughter's pregnancy died at the eighth month. In the hands of Irina valokordin and a phone with a photograph of her granddaughter, whom her daughter tried to kill.
Arina and her daughter survived - there was a large snowdrift under the 9th floor window. As passersby dug them out of the snow, Rafina muttered that the voices had told her to do so. From the hospital, the mother was sent to a pre-trial detention center, and the child was sent to his father.
On the eve of the suicide attempt, Arina called the police home, saying that her husband was sharpening knives to kill her (he was grinding the keys to the front door), and then she did not sleep for two days, walked around the apartment in a jacket. Before traveling to the doctor, she did not reach for a couple of hours.
Psychiatrists diagnosed with Rafina schizophrenia.
"Why should they suffer in such a world?"
Both women with schizophrenia and women in deep depression often talk about the reasons for killing a child like this: "I do him better", "I am too bad a mother for him", "This world is so monstrous that the child would be better off not living in it."
Psychiatrists and criminologists have a term for “mercy killing”. This phenomenon includes “extended suicide” - when a mother decides to take her own life and takes her children with her.
“She looks at a child, two or three children, and thinks: why should they suffer in such a world? - says Kachaeva from the center. Serbian. “It never makes them feel better after a crime. Then they commit suicide - if not on the first try, then on the second or third. "
“Most of the cases come to us when someone was able to interfere with a woman,” says the expert. - For example, recently there was a woman who chased her children of three and five years old with sleeping pills, trying to poison them. The husband entered and saw a package of some pills sold to her without a prescription. He stopped her, prevented the crime. Although he himself was largely to blame - he cheated, disappeared. "
“Relatives said that she had crazy ideas about aliens - which suddenly everyone immediately remembered as soon as the criminal case appeared. Before that, few people worried about her condition, '' recalls Kachaeva. - I started to recover very quickly in the hospital. When treatment starts on time, antipsychotics work well. ”
Sent for compulsory treatment every six months pass examination at a commission of doctors. Then the district judge comes to the hospital to consider these cases.
“Six months is enough for even the most serious case. Young and previously untreated women respond particularly well. It gets better before our eyes, they come to their senses, begin to say: my God, doctors, what have I done, how can I live like this now, ”says Kachaeva.
With the permission of the doctors and the judge, the woman can return home. According to the law, she must register with the neuropsychiatric dispensary and be treated on an outpatient basis. Medicines are free. Two years later, if the patient responds well to treatment, she will be removed from the register, the psychiatrist says.
"Desired child, she adored him"
In about 15% of mothers who have infanticide, doctors do not find a pronounced mental disorder. Then experts write in their conclusions about "emotional stress from a traumatic life situation."
“During the examinations, you sometimes even wonder how a person can have all the problems at once,” says Kachaeva. “And complications from the flu during pregnancy, and my mother died, and the man abandoned her before giving birth, and she lost her job, and she was kicked out of her rented apartment because there was nothing to pay for housing.”
This social disorder leads to mental instability. And if the third element appears - the so-called trigger factor - then a crime occurs.
“A trigger for women is most often a personal situation associated with a partner,” continues Kachaeva. - Insult, humiliation, care, treason. Didn't come for the New Year, did not congratulate him on his birthday. In general, women react very painfully to such a relationship with a partner. "
In the winter of 2018, the foreman of the poultry farm Elizaveta Zharova left the court of the city of Chebarkul near Chelyabinsk. The 30-year-old mother of three children, in the spring of 2017 she became pregnant with the fourth - but there was nothing to raise him. According to the lawyer, Zharova was going to have an abortion, missed the deadline, gave birth in the fall at home in the village and threw the newborn into a cesspool. The child suffocated.
Zharova's deed was reported to the police by a neighbor. The victims recognized the husband of Elizabeth. But he said in court that he had forgiven his wife, had no complaints, and petitioned to terminate the criminal case. The court granted the petition. Elizabeth was released from the courtroom.
Hysterics broke out in the region: local media published columns calling for the criminal to be imprisoned for 15 years, neighbors were indignant at how the earth was carrying the killer. “The trial wore me out,” recalls her lawyer. - Zharova herself is a cunning and difficult person, with a very rational approach. They went to the NTV show to tell about this case ”.
Elizabeth's family moved to the Tomsk region. On her page in the social network "VKontakte" - a photo of her sons: here they are riding down the hill, here is the eldest at school, and this is a family feast. They learn songs by the end of the school year and go to barbecues.
Zharova does not want to remember the trial. “I don’t want to think about it at all. A year has passed and I don't need to stir it up, ”she told the BBC.
To mitigate the punishment for mothers who attempted to kill newborns, every few years they try in the USA. Activists are lobbying for a second chance for such women. But so far, both in Russia and in the United States, this chance depends on the judge who dealt with.
In the same winter of 2018, 36-year-old Anastasia Krokhina was tried in Kemerovo, a day's drive from the Zharovs' house. Like Zharova, the mother of two preschoolers gave birth to another son in the summer of 2017. The family is not rich, but “nice and tidy,” the children are “always clean,” Krokhina did not drink or use drugs, her friends say.
According to them, the father of the newborn helped them, but he was married - and Anastasia was tormented by her position. Four months later, on a sleepless November night, in the flu-like heat, Krokhina threw away the crying child, whom she could not calm down. The man continued to cry. Both the mother and the child had a temperature “under 40,” recall Krokhina's acquaintances.
In the predawn twilight, Anastasia prepared a mixture, fed her son. He continued to cry, and his mother, reassuring, pressed her hand to his forehead. Son finally fell asleep. Edema from fracture of the bones of the skull grew gradually, the leg fracture was not visible.
Krokhin caught himself by noon - the child slept too long. She rushed to the neighbors, called an ambulance herself. Doctors pronounced him dead.
Krokhin was not accused of murder, but of deliberately causing harm to his health, inadvertently causing the death of the victim. On examination recognized sane. The case was considered for two days. The court did not give a second chance and sent Krokhin to a colony for seven years. Her older children are raised by a retired grandmother.
“It was a great grief for the family. It was a desired, beloved child, plump, she adored him. She cried throughout the meeting. They even refused to appeal the verdict, ”recalls a lawyer familiar with the case.
According to him, such cases are rarely carried out with an inpatient psychological and psychiatric examination, they are limited to an outpatient examination: “They come to the clinic and sometimes spend no more than five minutes there. All requests for re-examination for Nastya were rejected with the message: "And one is enough." Despite the huge set of mitigating circumstances, the result is such terms. "
Krokhina's social networks left her photographs in a white dress at the eighth month of pregnancy, a massage scheme for children's feet and a recipe for chicken casserole. And there are many quotes from the “Children” community: “In my life there is one little man for whom I want to live - this is my child. This is happiness! ”.
On the subject: Three true stories of doctors who became serial killers
"She was very worried about them"
Investigators would not have found Elena Karimova if it had not been for a fire at an abandoned vegetable store in the city of Semenov, Nizhny Novgorod Region. In a roll of glass wool, firefighters found the charred remains of children - a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl. The examination established that the children were first strangled and then burned.
On April 27, 2018, investigators detained Karimova, accusing her of killing their children, Suleiman and Khadizhi.
A well-groomed bright brunette, Karimova sold sports nutrition in an online store. Judging by her Instagram, she loved going to cafes with her friends and uploading pictures of her children.
“The children were neat, they grew up in love. Lena constantly ran to me - now the boy has chickenpox, then the girl has a cold, she was very worried about them, ”says her sister-in-law Aziza Karimova.
Shortly before her arrest, she bought a lot of baby clothes for growth. “A person who is going to kill his children will probably not buy clothes to grow. I would understand if the children were naked and barefoot - but this is not the case. The children are clean, smooth, all well-groomed, ”says Karimova's former lawyer Dmitry Shirokov.
Elena was found by a tracker that was installed on a rented Kia Ceed. According to the video cameras, Maxim Yefimov, a senior investigator of the ICR department in the Nizhny Novgorod region, explains how the car was moving - for example, there is a video from a gas station where Karimova buys chocolate and liquid for ignition on the way.
There were witnesses - hunters who saw a car, a fire and a girl near the forest. It seemed to them that she was throwing some dolls into the fire. Karimova was mistaken for a witch.
During the first interrogation, Karimova said that she first strangled her daughter by putting her on her knees with her back to her and holding her nose and mouth. Then - the boy. The girl struggled and shouted: “Enough! Enough! ”. The boy was silent.
It was not possible to get rid of the bodies at once - those same hunters frightened away. She packed the remains in an oilcloth bag, returned home, talked on the phone with her friends, with her godmother, and the next day she went to make a fire again. When she burned the corpses, it seemed to her that they were “moving and getting up,” the case file says.
Later, Karimova changed her testimony: according to her, she strangled the children, fearing threats from “the enemies of her ex-husband”. According to her version, they sat down with her “in the car and made everything do”. But the route she named was not confirmed by the tracker, in the video the woman is always alone - the investigators did not find the people described by Elena.
On an outpatient, like Kvaskova, examination, Karimov was considered mentally healthy. She was sent to the colony for 19 years.
Andrei Kirillov, head of the department for the investigation of especially grave crimes of the Nizhny Novgorod ICR, was surprised when he received the results of this examination: “It's hard to believe that a mother of already conscious children can be so cold and calculating that she can go to her goal with some maniacal persistence.” he told the BBC.
The investigators did not request a second examination. So was the first lawyer. She was requested by a new lawyer only in the last instance in the Supreme Court of Russia. But the court refused her, and the verdict was upheld.
All participants in such criminal proceedings speak about the importance of repeated examinations. Kachaeva talks about one of the May examinations in the Serbian center. A woman accused of murdering an eight-month-old child came to them after two examinations - in Saratov and Volgograd. One commission found her sick, and the other sane. In the center of them. Serbsky confirmed that the accused was sick.
“These women had childhood violence”
During interrogation, Karimova said she wanted to get rid of the children, considering them to be a burden. Doctor of Psychology, criminal profiler Yekaterina Vaske talked with her investigators.
“I was struck by the level of cynicism. For a long time she told me all the details in the most horrible presentation. Which of her own children she killed first, how she burned her daughter and son, which child burned faster - who had cilia, who had lips, ”says Vaske.
“She talked a lot about herself. She demonstrated her “uncommonness”, her “bright” life, then she tried to evoke self-pity. For example, she said that at the age of six she experienced sexual abuse by her father, who had already died, ”says the expert.
In the materials of Karimova's outpatient examination, the interrogation of her mother is quoted: “I do not know anything about my husband raping our daughter when she was six years old. But that he could do it, I have no doubt. He had such inclinations. Later my daughter wrote to me that her father had raped her. ”
Studies by Russian forensic psychiatrists say that in 80% of cases, child killers grew up in dysfunctional families - and in 85% of cases there were conflicts in their own marriage. These figures are directly related, the researchers say: lies, quarrels, fights, insults, drunkenness become an integral part of the life of a teenage girl and are carried by adult women into their families.
In troubled relationships with parents, aggression toward a child can be rooted in, which the infantkillers often mask as manifestations of excessive love.
“Being a victim of domestic violence is a very serious factor for such a crime in the future,” confirms Professor Kachaeva. - In most cases, these women have experienced childhood violence, emotional, sexual or physical. And it is not a fact that the sexiest of them is the worst. When a woman comes to us for examination, in 90% of cases she is open to talk about this violence. Good lawyers often use this. ”
“Nobody wants to meet such feelings”
Neither lawyers nor psychiatrists often want to work with baby killers.
In the winter of 2019, in Derbent, a 21-year-old Dagestani woman who killed her six-month-old daughter with 31 stabs, could not find a defender for a long time. “Even the appointees refused it. Everyone here cursed her, ”explain the lawyers familiar with the case.
Psychiatrists say that one of the most experienced specialists in the center. Serbsky, when he sees a child killer, says: "I will not take part in this examination." “She a priori hates them,” her colleagues explain. "But that's not normal and unprofessional."
When a person accused of killing two newborns was arrested in the Perm Territory, her lawyer did not even object to being sent to the SIZO, which violated the lawyer's code.
In colonies, the administration usually hides why the child killers are in prison, says actress Marina Klescheva, who was serving time under another article. “Of course, I've come across such. But if by chance one of their countrywomen does not come and tell, then no one knows about their article, - she says. - They have no girlfriends in the colony. And they don't go anywhere, neither in conversations, nor in scandals. After all, if she says a word in some skirmish, then they can crush. "
“I was still amazed why they were given so little for a person. We did not know about any postpartum syndromes, depression, PMS, ”adds Klescheva.
“Why do we have such lenient sentences for killing children? All murderers are sent to hard labor for life. "
“For me, this is a terrible crime, and such people need to be executed, not supported by the state.”
"Let this thing die in jail."
Readers have left these and other, much sharper comments on the news about the detention of several heroines of this text.
Yakov Kochetkov, a clinical psychologist from Moscow, believes that he knows the reason for such a reaction. He calls this psychological defense. Women deny such thoughts in themselves, unleash their rage on others, "if only someone to condemn, so as not to me."
“After all, if you try to understand this woman or pity her, then you will have to come into contact with the same feelings that she is experiencing. And no one wants to meet such feelings, ”says the psychologist.
According to the American 2015 research of the year, 70% of mothers did not hide aggressive thoughts towards their child during infantile colic, because of which children can scream all night long. And 26% of them had the idea of killing a child.
In women suffering from mental disorders, even the most mild, such thoughts occur twice as often. Does this mean that they are all dangerous for their children? Not.
Psychologist Kochetkov works with mothers who suffer from obsessive thoughts of harming their child - strangling, stabbing, or throwing out the window. They rarely admit them - and then only to her husband. They don't allow themselves to relax, cry, or yell at the baby. They think they should love their child all the time.
“In fact, such women never harm their children,” the psychologist is sure. "The problem is, they are sensitive to news of a woman killing a son or daughter, and they easily bear it on themselves."
Kochetkov says their diagnosis is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). “It has become especially common now,” he says. But these are not the women who go to murder, the psychologist refers to international studies.
“Those who lose control are killing. On the other hand, OCD sufferers have a problem of overcontrol. They try to control not only their actions, but also their thoughts, ”says Kochetkov.
As a rule, such mothers do not know how to express their anger or anger. And this defect appeared in them from childhood, in which their own mothers could not endure the slightest manifestation of anger in their daughters. Such women give the impression of calm and even passive. But their accumulated over the years aggression causes them to dwell on any negative thought that ordinary people can simply ignore.
"He seemed to have stolen my life"
“I used to judge such moms so much. I thought it would never touch me. But it turned out ... ”, says 33-year-old Tatiana Ivanova, a specialist in working with corporate clients at a large telecommunications company.
Sales, travel, friends. And I really wanted a child. “It seemed to me that we are maximally prepared for the birth of a child. But it turned out that this is not the case, ”she says.
The birth was difficult, "the attitude of midwives was bestial." “I started having flashbacks about childbirth - vivid dreams with pain, I woke up with tachycardia. Lactostasis, extra pounds, skin ulcers, hair fell out ... The child's aggression gradually increased - he, you know, as if he stole my life. I passed the blame on him for my suffering, for my lost health, ”says Ivanova.
When the child did not sleep at night or cried while her teeth were being cut, Tatyana strongly broke off.
“This crying of children - it blows up its head, reveals all your problems from childhood,” she recalls. - And there was also an image in my head that I had to cope with everything. In hysterics, I shook him violently when I rocked him. He was frightened and became even more involved. Then I just threw him into bed with all my might. And yelled at him. “It would be better if you weren’t” and other phrases are even harsher ... And then a feeling of guilt and shame, from the fact that you do not enjoy your motherhood, covered.
According to Tatiana, her husband said that she crippled the child's psyche. He brushed aside her complaints: “Well, what are you doing, you pull yourself together, are you a mother or who? Why others can and you can't? For whom did you give birth to this child? "
A year has passed. Tatyana only got worse. With thoughts of suicide, she went to a psychologist: “I believed that such a nasty and disgusting mother like me should not exist on earth, and that my child deserves a better mother. I was better off killing myself than enduring such heartache. I have had several such crises. The psychologist answered immediately and helped to live them. "
"Not only posters with an angelic baby doll"
When it comes to the prevention of filicide, the most often mentioned is the promotion of sex in condoms and baby boxes. In addition, both Russian and Western doctors talk about the importance of tracking mental disorders in mothers - in particular, postpartum depression.
“Ideally, before giving birth, you need to analyze all possible scenarios. Discuss relationships with your own mother, attitude towards yourself, towards your partner, since all this affects the postpartum state, says psychologist Marina Bilobram. "There should be not only posters of a smiling mother with an angelic baby doll, but also explanations of what could be different."
In Moscow and the regions there are centers for women in crisis. Not only victims of domestic violence can go there, but also women with depression. These centers are half empty, says psychiatrist Kachaeva.
“Because our women are afraid to go there. They are afraid that the children will be taken away if they tell about something like that. They are also afraid to go to the district psychiatrist - they will inform, put on record, and guardianship will come to deprive them of rights. Even husband and family are afraid to say - they say, she's crazy, let's shut up, ”she says.
At home, you can take the test yourself using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale. If the score on this scale is more than 12, you need to go to the doctor. With a score of five to 11 points, it is necessary to retest in two to four weeks to assess whether the mother has become worse or better.
"Hurry he'd fall out of me"
At 31, after five abortions, Katerina Ryazanova finally decided to keep the pregnancy. The husband really wanted children, and the doctors said that she was already “old”. Before giving birth, she worked as a promoter in nightclubs - "a lot of communication, money and bad habits."
“The child, my first and only one, deprived me of everything. Pregnancy is the worst time of my life. It’s not good to say that, but from the first months I went with the hope that maybe the doctors would find some pathologies or premature birth would begin and there would be no baby. But everything was fine with him, ”recalls Katerina.
She went to give birth with the thought: “As soon as possible he would fall out of me, he will feel better”. After giving birth, I thought to continue working and traveling, as before. But she fell into depression.
“Although I was no longer nauseous, although the child was calm, but I had no life ... The money ceased to be enough. Damn, when you can't afford to go to a manicure, because there is no time or money ... This is some kind of nightmare. All this made me feel really bad, ”she says.
“Everyone wants to throw the child out the window, I didn’t want to go out the window, but always, when I walked with him, another thought would not let go. I was rolling a stroller and wanted to put this stroller under the car. I imagined in detail how I was now letting go of the stroller - and it was being crushed by the car. I felt sorry for the child. And at the same time I'm very sorry for myself. I couldn't push this stroller. But such thoughts constantly appeared in my head. It seems to me that normal women will not have such thoughts in their heads, ”says Katerina.
Ryazanova did not consult psychologists and therefore does not know that many of them consider such reflections the norm - as long as the woman is aware of them.
“I told my mother that I love the child a little. But she didn't hear me. I told my husband. My husband replied that I was crazy. He said how you can not want a child? At the same time, he himself worked a lot with the child, he loved him very much. When I told him about my obsessive thoughts about the wheelchair, he offered to give birth to a second - they say, he and his brother will be more fun. As a result, when Katerina became pregnant again, she had an abortion secretly, telling her husband after the operation.
To cope with depression, Ryazanova found on Facebook a support group for mothers in difficult life situations. “It makes me feel better that I am not alone and I am glad that women have appeared who are not ashamed to talk about it. And not only fasting after giving birth to a pony and a rainbow, ”she says.
Katerina decided that she had learned to live with motherhood. Seven months after giving birth, thoughts of getting rid of the child disappeared.
On New Year's Eve 2019, her husband went to bed and did not wake up: his heart stopped. His parents evicted Ryazanova and her child from the apartment. I had to move with my two-year-old son to my mother. Now they live at her expense: “I want to get a job, but so far there is no one to leave my child with, no one wants to sit with him, not even my mother. She has a vegetable garden in full swing. ”
We talked with Katerina since April. During this time, she got worse. “Strong love never came over me. Such as in “Instagram” show. Of course, I do everything so that the child does not need. But I do not dissolve in it. And it overwhelms me that if it were not for the child, I would already work, I would not stick around in the village. Then you realize that he, the child, is not to blame for anything ”.
In June, at about three o'clock in the morning, she sent us an SMS: “I have no strength. And I don't know where to get them. Lack of money. The sister scolds. Mom doesn't support. The child is wonderful, but I am an amoeba with him. I'm too lazy to play and talk with him. And this is also my pain. I assured that everything is fine, but no, it is not. "