Female violence the future well-being of a society is directly linked to its ability to care for and educate its young. Among families that cannot effectively care for their young without assistance, lie one of the sources of future violence and criminality. Until we learn this, we will continue to build more prisons at a much higher cost than early prevention and treatment. Until we fully recognize and support the importance of the parental task of caring for its young, we will not stop the cycle of violence.
Steffens Meier and Hayne found that economic disadvantage and social disorganization was associated with adult female homicide. Campbell suggests that women express violence in response to stress and frustration. Katherine Rams land has proposed several violence reasons for aggression by women. Some work in partnership with boyfriends or husbands who beat them if they do not cooperate, some are impulsively violent, and some are methodically cruel. Elizabeth Epstein found that among the relationships of 109 alcoholic women, 61% reported some violence. In 23% of the couples, the woman was more violent and in 11% of the couples, the man was more violent. Do bash et al point out that female and male rates of spousal murder in the US are very similar, while the perpetrators of spousal abuse are predominantly male.
A study of female violence indicated that adult females with histories violence of aggression had moderate to severe behavior problems that began before the age of 13, assault of an authority figure, impulsivity, delinquency, running away from home, substance abuse, beliefs in the legitimacy of aggression as a means to an end, few pro-social peers, behavior problems at school, home or work, not successful in school, job, or as a home maker, family violence and low warmth in family of origin, and lack of appropriate boundaries in family of origin or present family. A third of those with chronic assaults lacked remorse, and had positive attitudes toward antisocial behavior, emotional displays that were flat or out of control, deviant peers, and excessive absenteeism from school or work in addition to the general characteristics cited above. Additionally it appears that the number and the severity of traumas experienced by a woman are associated with the number and severity of behavior problems a woman has. The CARE 2: Chronic Violence Risk and Needs Assessment (Seifert, 2008) identifies the risk and resiliency factors associated with youthful female violence, as well as needed interventions. Research continues on the female adult version of this tool.
Females are most likely to kill a spouse or a boyfriend or girlfriend and least likely to kill an employee/er or a sibling. Twelve percent of US homicide offenders and of identified serial killers are female. The motive for 41% of female serial killers is money. Substance abuse is more likely to be involved when an abused woman murders her abusive male partner. Additionally, most mothers who kill their children are psychotic, under stress, isolated, have long histories of mental illness, and have been abused or exposed to domestic violence as children.
So it is true for other girls. Early identification and intervention into violent homes is essential to stop the brutal cycle of family violence. We can no longer ignore the precursors of female violence. As a society, we must intervene early with therapy and family supports for all families exposed to domestic violence.