chapter  4
18 Pages

At the Intersections: Race, Gender and Violence

Over the last several decades, scholars have paid increased attention to gender and trends in violent offending and victimization (DeHart and Lynch, 2013; Goodkind, 2009; Males, 2010). Most recently, interest in this area was piqued by changes in arrest statistics for women and girls beginning in the late 1980s and continuing into the early 2000s. During this time, girls’ arrests for violent offenses increased more rapidly and decreased more slowly than arrests of boys for similar offenses (Chesney-Lind and Shelden, 2004). Over this time period, more girls entered secure detention for crimes against persons like simple assault and aggravated assault. The number of women incarcerated for violent offenses also increased over the first decade of the twenty-first century from 109,340 in 1999 to 183,986 in 2009 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011). During this time, women also continued to experience high rates of victimization. Women were 45 percent of simple assault victims in 2008 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011). Women remain the most common victims of rape and sexual assault (80 percent). Data from 2009 find that women who reported rapes were raped by men 78 percent of the time and most often by a friend, relative or intimate partner.