Prevent Homicide


Bini Dahal

February has not ended yet, and within this month, we have heard two very gruesome stories of individuals murdering their family members and committing suicide afterwards. Termed correctly as homicide-suicide or murder-suicide, researches highlight that these type of incidents are rare in nature. However, we do hear about them at times.

Just three days ago, a man was reported to have killed his wife, eight-year-old daughter and his three-year-old granddaughter. After committing the crime, he had made his fifteen-year-old son record clips. In the videos he basically admitted to the crime and explained his reasons. The father wanted the clip to be sent to his wife’s first-born, his stepson, who is working in Saudi Arabia. He then went on to commit suicide, leaving the young teenage boy alone. The boy is now in a situation where in the blink of an eye, he has lost all of his family members. The amount of mental trauma and suffering is indescribable. What is even more terrible is that he had to witness all of these matters and had to even record the video. 

In another incident, a few weeks ago, a woman jumped from the third floor of her house after murdering her two-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. While she was rescued and immediately taken to the hospital, she succumbed to death. The husband had apparently gone to work at the time. The reasons behind committing a homicide-suicide could be anything. Unless a person committing the crime lets people around them know the reason, it is hard to come up with exactly why he or she did so.  Taking such a step requires a lot of courage and it is quite impossible to do so immediately without contemplating it at least a hundred times. It is hard to predict human's behaviour and thoughts. They are really complex in nature.

There are financial issues, marital complexities and many other reasons. Every day we come across a variety of issues and challenges. A certain action of someone can be a deal-breaker, and we might come to really hate the person. Also, when people perceive that a certain action deflates their prestige in they society, they tend to make wrong decisions in the heat of the moment.  And obviously mental health issues can also cause people to act under delusion. So there is no simple explanation. 

Every time these types of incidents happen, I am always forced to think what could have been done to prevent people from making such wrong decisions. All I can conclude is as a society and as individuals, we have to give out love and care as much as we can. Supporting one another to be strong and resilient is necessary. Anyone who is suffering from mental health issues should be supported and despite the taboo, encouraging them to seek mental health professionals is the right thing to do. 

At the end of the day, it is kind words, love and support that can help us heal and tackle issues. We are in need of a collective and holistic approach encompassing social, economic and psychological factors that can help target this issue properly. Ultimately, the decision to take lives, whether one's own or another's, can never be justified or deemed necessary in any circumstance.

How did you feel after reading this news?