Pray for the Children – Victims of Parent on Parent Murder

Recently, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, has written several articles about inmates who have murdered a spouse in front of their child(ren). Garry Allen, a 55-year-old man, killed his girlfriend, Lawanna Gail Titsworth, in front of a daycare center where their children attended in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The children were ages two and six at the time of the shooting, and witnessed the incident. Keith Thurmond, a 53-year-old man, shot and killed his estranged wife and her boyfriend in Magnolia, Texas. His eight-year-old son witnessed the shooting of his mother before running across the street. He was the primary witness for the prosecution.

Uxoricide is the term that refers to a spouse killing another spouse. Children of uxoricide are children who have had a parent murdered by the other parent. According to a study done by the University of Virginia, roughly 3,000 to 4,000 US children have to live through one parent killing the other annually. In approximately 43 percent of the cases, the children either witness the murder or find the body. The effect this can have on a child varies from child to child, however, the study did provide some common themes.Violence often continued in the lives of the children. It was often not until they were arrested later in life that they realized they had become just like their parent. The children are also often able to forgive and make peace with the parent that committed the murder. If the parent is released from prison, the child often wants to reconnect with the parent.

Children who endure these circumstances lose both parents in one day. Not only do they lose the now deceased parent, they also lose the one that committed the murder, to prison. They also lose stability. Most children are placed in foster care and shuffled around from one home to another. Having gone through a situation like this, it is important for the child(ren) to have someone they can trust and with whom they can talk. Research has shown that, often times, children are not asked about their experience or how they are handling the after effects. Adults who have gone through this are expressing the realization that children need to talk about it. Beyond the study done by the University of Virginia, very little research has been done on this topic, which is shocking considering the number of children affected every year.

Jesus says, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them.”  (Matthew 19:14 NIV) In the Bible, it is evident that Jesus places a great value on children.Please pray for all the children affected by uxoricide. Please pray that when they think they have no one to turn to that they realize Jesus is always there for them and that they are never alone. Please pray that all who have endured this tragedy find peace.


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