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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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HOMICIDE TYPOLOGIES

Typologies
Theft/Assault/Robbery Homicide
Spousal Homicide
Child Homicide
Defense against (Sexual) Assault Homicide
Other typologies

 

Typologies

In A Profile of Homicide Offenders in Canada (CSC, 1995), homicides are described in terms of typologies or categories based on either the context of the homicide or who the victim was. By using typologies, similar types of homicides can be classified together, making the dynamics of homicide easier to assess. However, in the research brief, both men and women homicide offenders are analyzed together making the trends for the smaller female population less obvious. In the present study, the typologies found in A Profile of Homicide Offenders in Canada (CSC, 1995) were used to describe the current female population of homicide offenders.

It became apparent throughout the data collection process that there was a need for a few new typologies in order to capture the types of homicide these women were involved in. This section will illustrate a comparative analysis of the most frequent typologies that emerged. Below is a list of these typologies.

 

Theft/Assault/Robbery Homicide

Homicide that occurred within the context of a theft/robbery/assault accounted for 27.9% of the homicides included in the study. In the theft/robbery situations, the women were usually attempting to get money and/or property from another individual and the situation escalated to homicide. Typically in the assault situations, an argument started between the offender and the victim leading to a physical assault and the eventual death of the victim.

 

Spousal Homicide

Spousal homicide accounted for 25% of the homicides. The victims in these homicides were the current, former, or estranged marital or common-law spouses. These homicides are the most stereotypical view of women who commit homicide. That is, the spouse/partner has abused the woman over an extensive period of time, and in an attempt to gain control of her life she kills her abuser.

 

Child Homicide

Child homicides accounted for 14.5% of the homicides examined in this report. The victim in these situations was either the offender's own child or another child in the offender's care such as a stepchild, foster child or child that the offender was babysitting. Usually the child was abused several times before the abuse resulted in homicide.

 

Defense against (Sexual) Assault Homicide

In 5.6% of the homicides, the offender used excessive force when defending herself against being sexually assaulted by the victim of the homicide. In these cases the victim was male, likely a prostitution customer of the offender, who made unwanted sexual advances or physically assaulted the offender. Drugs and alcohol were also usually involved.

 

Other typologies

As previously mentioned, several new typologies were developed to represent the spectrum of homicides committed by women. These typologies are related to boyfriend/girlfriend homicides, other family member homicides, girlfriend/wife of man having an affair with the offender homicides, friend/possible boyfriend homicides, (step) parental homicides, spousal homicides, child homicides, lawyer homicides and roommate homicides.

Other typologies are more specific to the context in which it took place. These include: sexual assault as instigator homicides, evading apprehension homicides, arson homicides, drug deal homicide, assisting suicide homicide, contract homicides, and gang related homicides.