Women Offenders

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Women Offenders

In this article it discusses how the number of women offenders has increased. Based on the self-reports of victims of violence, women account for about 14% of violent offenders an annual average of about 2.1 million violent female offenders. Male offending equals about 1 violent offender for every 9 males age 10 or older, a per capita rate 6 times that of women. Three out of four violent female offenders committed simple assault. Six to ten women in State prisons had experienced physical or sexual abuse in the past. Just over a third of imprisoned women had been abused by a person they knew; just under a quarter reported prior abuse by a family member. More than half of female violent offender were white, and just over a third were black. Among violent female offenders 53% were alone when they committed the offense, and 40% were with others. Among males 47% were alone when the offense was committed and 51% were with other males when the offense was committed. This article goes on to discuss the characteristics of victims of female violent offenders. Overall, female to female violence accounted for 11% of all violent offenders described by victims. An additional 3% of violent offenders were women who attacked males. Violent offenders most often victimized persons of the same gender. Sixty-two percent of female violent offenders had a prior relationship with the victim. The consequences of male violence were generally more serious for the victim in terms of weapon use, injury and out of pocket losses to the victim. Males are more likely than females to have used a weapon such as a knife or gun. Serious injuries, such as broken bones, knife wounds or gunshot wounds were more likely associated with male offenders.

Since 1993 both male and female rates for committing murder have declined. Between 1976 and 1997 parents and stepparents murdered nearly 11,000 children. Mothers and stepmothers committed about half of these child...
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