In the Roman law women did not have civil liberty. If they committed a crime they got convicted by magistrate power. The execution of the penalty was often ceded to the husband or other male family members. In the mediaeval times women were not allowed to swear on oath in court, so instead Judgement of God was used. This ended quite often fatal and lethal, even when they were proofed innocent.
With publishing the “Malleus Maleficarum” (the “Hammer of Witches”,1486) two centuries of witch hunt followed. It is estimated that between 40.000 and 100.000 people, foremost women, have been executed on grounds of Malleus Maleficarum. Preferred execution methods for women were drowning, impalement or being buried alive. The treatise singled out women as specifically inclined for witchcraft, because they were susceptible to demonic temptations through their manifold weaknesses. In
General crime and prison statistics
There is a significant decrease in numbers of women at first as crime suspects, second, as convicts and third as prisoners:
European data about female prisoners show that only between 5% and 10% of all detainees are women. In
Women tend to commit less crime and their offences are generally less serious than those of men. In
In 2007 5% of the prisoners in
The female crime rate is increasing in the last decades and noticeable is that the percentage of women convicted for infanticide and theft is higher than that of men.
About 55% of women in prison have a child under 16. According to data from Home Office in
Up to 50% of women in prison report having experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse. There are no data about the sexual orientation of women in prisons.
The statistic of the Intervention Centres in
Research from Scotland shows that about 7.2% of victims of domestic violence are men in heterosexual partnerships, about 0.4% are gay and 0.3% are lesbian partnerships. Male heterosexual victims were significantly more likely to be abused by present partner than were female heterosexual victims. Furthermore, they were less likely than female heterosexual victims to have experienced previous abuse. Most common form of force against the partner was being pushed and shoved (88% of male victims), followed by having things thrown at them (75%) and damage to property (53%). Further, 53% of male victims reported that they had sustained an injury as a consequence of the force used against them. But none of the men reported medical treatment.
All statistics show that woman compared to men are less likely to commit a crime and if they do so, it is at an average a less severe crime. The female crime rate is constantly increasing though and young women act more violently. Infanticide and theft are the offences where the percentage of convicted women is higher than of men.
Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, Deutschland (2005): Gender Datenreport.
Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, Familie und Jugend, Österreich (2001): Gewalt in der Familie- Gewaltbericht.
Bundesministerium für Inneres, Österreich (2002): Sicherheitsbericht. In Frauenratgeberin:
Gadd, David/Farrall, Stephen/ Dallimore, Damian (2002):
Domestic Abuse against Men in Scotland. Scottish Executive Central Research Unit.
Gender Report Sachsen-Anhalt, 2003. www.g-i-s-a.de/Gender-Report2003.html
Kimmel, Michael, S. (2002): ‘Gender Symmetry’ in Domestic Violence. In: Violence Against Women, Vol.8, No.11, November 2002, pp 1332-1363.
Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik Deutschland, 2006: www.bka.de/pks/pks2006/
Sicherheitsbericht des Österreichischen Bundesministeriums für Inneres, 2002.
Stadtzürcher Kriminalstatistik 1999-2001, in Amnesty-Bericht:
Statistisches Amt für Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein (2005): Strafverfolgung in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein. www.statistik-sh.de
Unizeit 1/99 (www.uni-graz.at/communication/unizeit/archiv/1999/199/1-99-02.html)
Wiener Interventionsstelle gegen Gewalt in der Familie: www.interventionsstelle-wien.at/