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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Parenting Roles And Experiences Of Abuse In Women Offenders: Review Of The Offender Intake Assessments

Histories of Abuse

Information on abuse presented in the Survey referred to the frequency of abuse women had experienced, which ranged from "regularly (abused) over a long period of time" to "once or twice" or "never." The Survey also provided information regarding the type of abuse women had experienced, namely sexual and/or physical. The Domain Comments of OIAs did not include this type of information, and for that reason comparisons of the findings from OIAs and the Survey were not possible.

It should be stressed that differing methodologies used by these two studies impose limitations on the comparison of the findings, thus making it difficult, in some cases, to estimate trends. Information in the Survey was based on individual interviews with women specifically designed to collect data of this nature. On the other hand, the purpose of the OIA is to provide assessment of women's criminogenic needs (and risks) in order to designate adequate programs that would target these needs. It does not contain items that are specifically designed for assessing experiences of abuse. Thus, information on experiences of abuse provided in the OIAs is disclosed by the women in relation to discussion of other OIA need domains, such as: employment, marital/family, associates/social interaction, substance abuse, community functioning, personal/emotional orientation and attitude. Keeping in mind the context within which information on women's experiences of abuse was collected, it is clear that the findings on this issue based on the records provided in the Domain Comments of women's OIAs should not be considered a precise nor thorough treatment of this issue.