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Filicide, the unlawful killing of a child by a parent or parent equivalent such as a step-parent, grand-parent or guardian, (Brown and Tyson, 2012), is a shocking and tragic event. Sadly, Australia appears to have a high incidence of filicide as compared with other countries internationally (Pritchard, Davey and Williams, 2013). Estimates range from 23 children killed per year (Mouzos and Rushworth, 2003) to 27 children killed per year (Kirkwood, 2012), that is one child approximately killed per fortnight. Children killed range in age from one day old to adulthood, but most research counts only children up to 18.

The Monash Deakin Filicide Research Project was established in 2010 at Monash University as a joint research venture between the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (Professor Thea Brown and Dr Paula Fernandez Arias, Department of Social Work) and the Faculty of Arts (Dr Danielle Tyson, Department of Criminology) at Monash University. Since the beginning of 2016 the joint venture is between Monash University and Deakin University and the research team has expanded to include the Faculty of Law at Monash University.