1. Preliminaries: Aspects to consider

The idea of women as perpetrators is debated very controversial. On one hand there is the assumption that women are not violent, that women are victims and not perpetrators. On the other hand there is the fear that numbers and statements get quoted out of context and will be misused to justify male violence and to marginalise the consequences of violence. Nevertheless it is crucial to accept the fact that women are perpetrators and commit crimes and even kill. 

When women refuse or are not able to fulfill their role as loving mothers and abuse, neglect or kill their children, the media coverage is huge. Cases of sexual abuse are rarely reported, although research indicates that approximately 5% of the perpetrators are female (German crime statistics: sexual abuse of children: 4.4%; sexual abuse of wards: 6.1%; possession of pornography with children: 4.9%).

Nevertheless, we will not refer to surveys stating that at least half of the perpetrators in cases of domestic violence are female. They are scholarly disproved and “turn out to be far more of an ideological polemic than a serious scholarly undertaking” (Kimmel 2002).

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European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

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