Working with Violent Female Offenders
Annette McKeown
Chartered & Registered Forensic Psychologist
Aims & Objectives
•
Different Forms of Female Aggression &
Violence
•
Understanding Female Aggression & Violence
•
Female Hidden Violence
•
Working with Female Violent Offenders
Division of Forensic Psychology Conference
High Number of Female Violent
Offenders in Prison Population
Total Female Sentenced Prison Population March 2013: 3060
36
Violence against
the person
Sexual offences
500
839
18
Robbery
482
70
296
180
186
453
Burglary
Theft and
handling
Fraud and
Forgery
Drug offences
Motoring
offences
Division of Forensic Psychology Conference
Increasingly Violent Women in the Media
Division of Forensic Psychology Conference
June 2013
Increasingly Violent Women in the Media
Division of Forensic Psychology Conference
June 2013
Different Forms of Female
Aggression
Understanding Aggression and
Violence in Females (1)
Victimisation
& Trauma
Violence &
Aggression
Relationship
Difficulties
Substance
Use
Mental
Health
Problems
Swan and Snow (2006)
Understanding Aggression and
Violence in Females (2)
•
Gender differences from young age.
•
Boys more likely to be directly and verbally
aggressive.
•
Indirect and relational aggression particularly
common in girls (Crick et al., 2008).
•
Aggressive behaviour in girls noted to include:



Excluding another child
Intentionally ending a friendship
Gossiping (Crick, 1996)
Understanding Aggression and
Violence in Females (3)
•
Female violence often in private, domestic
arena against themselves or children (Motz,
2010)
•
More likely to murder an intimate partner and
less likely to murder a stranger (Chan & Frei,
2012).
•
Similar levels of domestic violence (Archer,
2000; Winstok & Straus, 2011).
Understanding Aggression and
Violence in Females (4)
•
Suggestions that girls increasingly becoming
involved in gangs (Chesney-Lind & Pasko,
2004).
•
•
•
Understanding Aggression and
Violence in Females (5)
8% of women committed violence alongside a
male vs. 1% of male offenders (Bureau of
Justice Statistics, 1999)
Mothers more likely to murder in infancy
whereas fathers more likely to murder when over
age of 8.
Between 1976 and 1997, mothers and
stepmothers committed half of murders of
children
Division of Forensic Psychology Conference
Women’s Hidden Violence in the Home
• Denial of female aggression
(Motz, 2010)
• Idealization of motherhood
• Abusive mothering
across generations
•Projection of own
experience of childhood
•Violence against own
body and children as
means of communicating
distress(Motz, 2010)
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Women’s Violence Against Children
•
Munchausen’ s Syndrome equally spread in men and
women
•
85% Munchausen’s By Proxy cases were mother
(McCLure et al., 1996)
•
Most severe cases usually involve children under age of
five.
•
Primary purpose is to gain some
form of internal gratification, such
as attention.
Female Domestic Violence
•
•
•
•
Women as likely to perpetrate domestic violence as men
(Archer, 2000; 2002; Bookwala, 2002)
Some cases more severe forms of violence than men
(Cercone et al., 2005)
Female prison populations
indicate more often
perpetrator than victim in
most recent relationship
No gender-specific treatment programmes
Treatment Challenges with Violent
Women
Splitting
Boundaries
Stress
Transference
Counter
Transference
Victim/Perpetrator
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Ways forward
WORK
COLLABORATIVE
LY WITH TEAM
SUPERVISION &
CONSIDER
DYNAMICS
GENDERSENSITIVE
INTERVENTION
FOR DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE &
CHILD OFFENCES
GREATER
AWARENESS
OF HIDDEN
VIOLENCE
CONSIDER
RELATIONSHIP
DYNAMICS &
PARALLELS
Division of Forensic Psychology Conference
Thank you!
Any questions?
[email protected]
Division of Forensic Psychology Conference
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Working with Violent Female Offenders