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Women With Intellectual Disabilities: Unravelling Their Victim–Offender Status

aUniversitat de Barcelona, Spain

The Emerald International Handbook of Feminist Perspectives on Women’s Acts of Violence

ISBN: 978-1-80382-256-3, eISBN: 978-1-80382-255-6

Publication date: 2 August 2023


Over the last few decades there has been increased interest in studying the phenomenon of violence among people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Research addressing offending and victimization among this population suffers from generalised androcentrism by extrapolating findings to women, and is also homogenising, ignoring any individual and gendered differences. Existing research also demonstrates a clear focus on vulnerability and increased risk of victimization, but very little attention has been paid to women with ID as perpetrators of crime. Many factors play a role in the process of victimisation and offence, which implies the need to deconstruct the hegemonic vision of violence and examine its different manifestations and nuances. Therefore, this chapter provides a critical and historical review of the role of women with ID as victims and perpetrators of crime, by synthesising the different levels of analysis of the subject using an intersectionality approach. In conclusion, the evidence so far does not elucidate the prevalence or characteristics of these offenders. What we do know is that this group faces interacting, individual, social and environmental difficulties. They report high rates of victimisation and mental health comorbidity. Altogether they reveal an overlapping status of victim and offender.



Codina, M., Díaz-Faes, D.A. and Pereda, N. (2023), "Women With Intellectual Disabilities: Unravelling Their Victim–Offender Status", Banwel, S., Black, L., Cecil, D.K., Djamba, Y.K., Kimuna, S.R., Milne, E., Seal, L. and Tenkorang, E.Y. (Ed.) The Emerald International Handbook of Feminist Perspectives on Women’s Acts of Violence, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 109-123.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Marta Codina, Diego A. Díaz-Faes and Noemí Pereda. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited