what is it and what are its characteristics

Unfortunately, in recent years, there have been a high number of cases of murder and violence against children by one parent in order to get revenge or to harm and cause suffering to the other parent; usually after a separation of the couple.

Medea Syndrome has been used to refer to cases in which a parent decides to harm their child, both physically and psychologically, in order to cause harm and suffering to the other parent. This syndrome could be considered in the category of vicarious violence.

In this article we will see what the Medea syndrome consists of and its characteristics.

What is Medea Syndrome?

The Medea syndrome in the field of psychology has been used to designate cases in which one of the parents decide to harm their child, both physically and psychologically, in order to cause harm and suffering to the other parent.

This type of abuse is usually committed against minor children, although there have also been cases of abuse against another person or certain property highly valued by the abused person (for example, causing harm to the parents of their child) . of their property, etc.); however, Medea Syndrome is more about harm done to children in common.

The ways of causing such harm to children can be very diverse and it can also be due to several factors (eg culture, country, social, political and/or economic environment, etc.). Unfortunately, in the investigations carried out on this type of case, all kinds of situations that could be linked to the Medea syndrome have been documented, and situations of verbal or psychological and physical violence can be found through insults, severe punishments or insults, among others. patterns of violence.

In the most serious cases, there have been people who even killed their children to make the other parent suffer. On the other hand, these types of acts have been called other ways such as “substitute violence” or “indirect violence”.

Where does the name of this myth come from?

The origin of Medea syndrome can be found in the myth of Medea, which tells the story of a female witch and priestess who ended the lives of her children in order to take revenge on their father. The story of this myth tells that Medea, the daughter of the nymph Idia and the king of Colchis, Eetes and was also the granddaughter of Helios, the sun god. Medea was the priestess of Hecate, considered by her devotees as the mother who possessed the knowledge of sorcery. This is why Medea could be considered the archetype of a witch or a sorceress, unlike the ideal prototype of Greek mythology.

The development of the Medea myth originated following a story in which it is explained that Jason and the Argonauts came to Colchis, the kingdom of Medea’s father in search of the golden fleece. Athena and Hera, the goddesses in charge of protecting Jason and his companions, asked Medea to marry Jason and support him in his mission. It was not difficult to grant this request, since Medea was thrilled to see Jason, nor was it difficult for her to join him in pursuit of his designs.

However, the king of Colchis and father of Medea did not make it easy for Jason and he gave him some tasks that he had to do, he wanted to get the golden fleece. The myth of Medea tells that this witch helped Jason to overcome these trials, making him invulnerable to obstacles, so it was thanks to her that he managed to overcome them.

After a series of challenges that Jason and Medea faced, they managed to settle in Corinth, where they were welcomed by King Creon. There they had a good time together, even having two children. However, a day came when Jason fell in love with Glauce, the king’s daughter, and there began the conflicts between the couple. Médée apparently accepted the engagement between Jason and Glauce, even offering a dress to the young woman; but when she put it on, the dress caught fire, and after that she ended up burning down the whole palace.

After destroying everything, Medea knew that the Corinthians would retaliate against her and her two children. Therefore, it tells the myth that took place when Medea made the decision to end the lives of her two children before the Corinthians. There is also another version of this myth in which it is told that the children of Medea were killed by the Corinthians in revenge on her. What both versions seem to agree on is the fact that after the murder of their two children, Medea fled to Athens, where she remarried and had another son, Medo.

The last thing that is said of her story is that she would eventually be forgiven in Colchis, her place of origin. Moreover, the myth of Medea concludes by telling that Medea has achieved immortality and that she lives for posterity on the Champs Elysées.

Key Features of Medea Syndrome

After analyzing many cases of Medea syndrome or vicarious violence, some experts have been able to observe a characteristic psychological profile of those who commit acts of violence against their children with the aim of harming the other parent. These types of profiles often share a number of featuresamong which are those that we will list below:

  • High impulsivity.
  • Low to no tolerance for frustration.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Insecure.
  • History of dependencies.
  • Hallucinations and delusions.

However, although these characteristics could be found in a significant proportion of the subjects who committed such acts, the fact that a docile person possesses one or more of these characteristics does not mean that he will commit such a crime. Therefore, it is important that Medea syndrome is diagnosed by a professional, having previously carried out the relevant assessments.

Some examples of Medea syndrome

Over the past few decades, there have been cases related to Medea Syndrome such as those we will briefly describe below that will likely resonate with many of you.

1. Jose Breton case

In 2011 there was a well-known case for the repercussion it had through the various media due to the seriousness of the case. A man known as José Bretón has ended the lives of his two youngest children, aged 2 and 6, in the Spanish city of Córdoba. After committing the acts, he decided to burn the bodies of the two little ones so as not to leave any traces.

In 2013, José Bretón will end up being sentenced to 40 years in prison for this and it should be noted that these acts were committed due to revenge against his wife on the occasion of a divorce request.

2. David Oubel case

Years after the case of José Bretón, in 2015, a man named Davis Oubel, murdered his two daughters, aged 4 and 9, in a town in the autonomous community of Galicia (Spain), being another case of violence by proxy in which the purpose was to take revenge on his wife. In 2017, David Oubel was sentenced to life imprisonment.

3. Tomas Gimeno case

In 2021, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, a man known as Tomás Gimeno kidnapped his two daughters, aged 1 and 6. 45 days after the abduction, the eldest daughter’s body is found in a weighted bag on the bottom of the sea. However, the baby girl’s body has not been found, although there are indications found by experts who investigated the case say the little girl was also killed and thrown overboard in another ballast bag which was found open and empty.

Leave a Comment