What's more dangerous: Your parent or your child?

parent or child?“Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks; when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” The poem is hyperbolic, since the whack total is believed to have been under 30, but it appears otherwise to be accurate, notwithstanding Lizzie’s acquittal by a jury of her peers (and neighbors).  She achieved lasting fame (the murders took place in 1893), but Lizzie was not unique.  In the United States, children murder their parents with near daily frequency.  In other words, statistically speaking, your annual risk that your child will kill you is slightly over one in a million. 

As a child, however, your chance of death at the hands of your parent is several times higher.  Indeed, among murder victims under age 5 (about two per day, out of a total population that is less than one-tenth that of all parents), more than half were killed by one of their parents.


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