Violent and sexual female offenders

Shaw and Dubois (1995) reviewed publications relating to violence by women from 1984 to 1994 and comment that violence by women has been neglected or avoided. Violent women, they say, are often perceived as masculine, mad, sad or evil. Skeem, Schubert, Stowman, Beeson, Mulvey, Gardner, et al. (2005) studied risk assessments by mental health professionals and conclude that mental health professionals are less accurate at predicting future violence involving women psychiatric patients. This finding was not related to the gender of the mental health professional or to the seriousness of the violence. Violence potential in females may be underestimated because of the low base rate of violence by women or because women’s violence is less public i.e. in the home (Skeem et al., 2005).

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