chapter  10
Working with women: towards a more gender-sensitive violence risk assessment
Pages 18

Compared to their male counterparts, women are less likely to perpetrate violent acts. Gender is one of the best predictors of violent and criminal behaviour (Monahan, et al., 2001). However, although women are only a minority in the penitentiary system and in forensic psychiatry, it seems that worldwide, in the past two decades, female violence is on the rise, especially among young girls (Heilbrun, et al., 2008; Odgers, et al., 2005). In addition, certain types of violence, such as intimate-partner violence and inpatient violence by psychiatric patients, are as common in women as in men (Magdol, et al., 1997; Nicholls, et al., 2009). Some scholars have stated that changes in policies, police efforts, or changes in societal toleration for the behaviour of girls and women may partially explain the increased female violence (Hawkins, et al., 2009). Nevertheless, criminal behavior, and more specifi cally violent behaviour towards others by women, is a signifi cant problem that cannot be ignored. Consequently, there are growing concerns about whether the theoretical knowledge we have on violence in men and on violence risk assessment and management in men is suffi ciently valid and useful for violent women.