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Risk Profiles of Female Perpetrators of Severe Violence

Poster
Authors Karin Trägårdh
Malin Hildebrand Karlén
Thomas Nilsson
Published in 13th Nordic Symposium on Forensic Psychiatry. August 20-22, 2019, Gothenburg
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Department of Psychology
Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health
Language en
Links https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/208006
Keywords Female offenders of severe/lethal violence Female perpetrators Severe/lethal violence Female offenders with and without a Severe mental disorder (SMD)
Subject categories Psychology, Clinical Medicine, Forensic Science, Psychiatry, Other Medical Sciences, Basic Medicine, Neurosciences

Abstract

Female offenders without a severe mental disorder show more criminogenic factors than those with. Both groups are characterized by mental health problems. We need to further characterize female offenders. Background Offenders of lethal/severe violence are in a majority of cases male, about 90% (Falk et al., 2014), and research has to a considerable extent focused on male violent offenders. Although less is known about female violent offenders than male offenders, previous research has indicated significant differences between male and female offenders of lethal/severe violence (Trägårdh et al., 2016; Yourstone et al., 2008). Since a majority of female perpetrators of lethal violence undergo a forensic psychiatric investigation (RPU/FPI), these documents contains important information about this group. Purpose The aim of this ongoing study is to characterize female perpetrators of severe violent crimes, and to compare female perpetrators sentenced to forensic psychiatric compulsory care with those sentenced to correctional treatment. Method This is an exploratory and descriptive study with a cross-sectional design. All forensic evaluations (FPI) made in Sweden between 2000-2014 (from The National Board of Forensic Medicine/RMV), and the subsequent court verdicts, in cases where women had used lethal/severe violence (n≈180) where used as the basis for data collection in this study. The present preliminary analyses (2-tests and ANOVA) contains approx. 26% (n=47) of the total group. Group differences were investigated regarding: Mental health (FPI) Risk factors (HCR-20 and PCL-R) Victim relation (FPI) Criminal behavior (FPI) Results Female offenders with and without a Severe mental disorder (SMD) seems to differ in some respects. For female offenders with a SMD, the crime was more likely to have been conducted in a less criminal context (see Table). For female offenders without a SMD, the following characteristics were more frequently present: Victim gender – male Substance abuse + Under the influence of substance (offender and victim) Previous violence between victim and offender Previous registered criminality Also, several common features between the SMD and non-SMD group of female offenders were found. The majority of all female offenders had: Previous psychiatric contact and diagnoses Previously attempted suicide No previously registered criminality Conclusions Preliminary results of the female perpetrators who had underwent a FPI seems to identify both substantial differences and similarities between those with versus without a SMD, where those without show more criminogenic factors. Both groups were also characterized by a high amount of mental illness. Also, these results supports previous research that female and male offenders of severe violence differ in important ways. Since a majority of female perpetrators of lethal violence undergo a forensic psychiatric investigation, these results should be generalizable to this group as a whole in Sweden. Based on these results, a great need to further characterize female offenders of severe/lethal violence remain.

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