Female-on-Female Violence in an Urban Community

Nancy Hirschinger, Widener University
Jeane Ann Grisso, University of Pennsylvania
Bonita M. Veysey, Rutgers University

Over the past decade, female participation in assault has increasingly become a topic of concern. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey for the years 1993 through 1997, women represented 14 percent of violent offenders -- an annual average of over 2.1 million violent female offenders. Female offenders assault female victims more frequently than male victims at a rate of approximately 4:1 (Greenfeld and Snell, 1999). There are few studies, however, that address intragender female assault and few theoretical explanations of violence among poor Black women residing in urban communities.

This research is one of the first studies to examine female-on-female violence across a range of non-intimate partner relationships. The aim of this presentation is to describe female-on-female assault that results in injury from a sample of inner-city Black women who present for emergency department care for the injury.

The major goals of the presentation are to characterize the circumstances surrounding non-intimate partner female-on-female urban violence, to present a theory of female-on-female assault labeled Gendered Social Structural Strain, and to present an empirical test of the proposed theory. Policy implications also will be reviewed.

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Updated 05/20/2006