Battered Women as Offenders: In Their Own Words

Angela Moe Wan, Arizona State University
Kathleen J. Ferraro, Arizona State University

A link between victimization and criminal offending for women and girls has been substantiated throughout criminological scholarship. However, research is just beginning to examine the possible connections between intimate partner victimization and female offending. The purpose of this paper is to further this line of scholarship by reporting the experiences of battered women who have commited non-lethal crimes within the context of their victimization. A qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interviewing approach was utilized to gather topical life history narratives from 33 women who were either incarcerated or residing at a domestic violence shelter at the time of the interview. The life histories of these women are examined as are their experiences with other forms of victimization, help-seeking strategies and successes, and the contexts of offending in relation to their victimization.

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Updated 05/20/2006