Women and Criminal Justice: Women and Victimization

It is reported that about 25 percent of women in college will account some form of victimization in their learning institution with sexual violence noted to be the most common act of offense to women. The realization that women are still being harassed in the twenty-first century in the various settings is thus a major motivator for the need to examine the trends in victimization, which can be used in the institution of measures to prevent the risk factors. The section of the topic is, however, based on the realization that recently, many other effects have been reported among women that are beyond the mostly cited stress and social challenges that abused women have to overcome. A new trend has been reported in that when women become victims of harassment, there is a likelihood that they will end up participating in criminal activities because of the psychological stressors that they are forced to overcome.

The foundation for settling on the topic was from the quoted cases of women becoming victims of crime and as a result of feeling socially traumatized that they end up engaging in crime. The theme of the paper is particularly relevant because it builds on the learned concepts throughout the semester on the subject of women and criminal justice. The topic relates females as offenders from the perspective that while they could be thought of as stigmatized being, women have ended up engaging in criminal activities as a statement of the oppression that is subjected to them.

The Explanation of Women Victimization and Criminal Activities

Violent childhood and adult experiences especially regarding physical abuse have been identified to be one of the leading causes of women engaging in crime. The effect can be described by the review of the principle of control theory, which establishes that weak social bonds have been identified to be the cause of a majority of criminal activities. Usually, the motivation for batterers is to inflict both physical and emotional pain on their victims, with the outcome mainly involving social isolation. Relating the effect of loneliness and depression that results from the assault incidences is thus a suitable reason to describe the rising incidences of criminal activities perpetrated by women. The findings that have been established on the role of social and other traditional theories has been backed by the finding that like males, women tend to come from backgrounds that are associated with poor education, low income and most importantly, a minority status. The effect of feeling stigmatized and the consequence of being a social minor thus justifies the reason for female participation in crime following prior exposures to oppressive and discriminative behavior.

Women as Offenders

Early exposure to physical abuse has explicitly been recognized to be a huge factor in causing a woman to feel the desire of expressing her pain through crime. According to Lake, this effect classifies to be a major player in a majority of the female crimes especially when the abuse was from the domestic setting. Schwartz and Steffensmeier highlight that the trends of crime for both sexes has been on the rise since the 1960s. However, offense rates for women have shifted towards participating in minor crimes as opposed to the males who tend to be associated with the heinous misconducts. While men tend to account for 29 percent of crimes related to liquor laws and drug abuse, women only accounted for an average of 15 percent. The realization that women have increasingly been involved in criminal activities due to being sexually harassed has, however, been a significant subject with reports indicating women tend to engage in gangs and substance abuse.

One of the ways that harassed women cover for the oppression subjected to them has been through the formation of gangs. While ganging was previously an activity practiced by males, recent data has shown that females are now taking up roles as cheerleaders and camp followers. Other than the secondary roles, there have also been notable cases of women acting as male gang informants which stresses the role that they play even in criminal situations. In a majority of the cases interviewing of the female participant in the gang-related activities has shown that subjects tend to engage in the activities as a result of gender, race, and discrimination based on social class.

The other trend that victimized women have been reported to follow later in life is engagement in drug dependency and substance abuse, with related reports indicating a direct correlation to minor crimes. As a result of feeling alienated in the society, reports have shown that women are more likely to participate on burglary and robbery incidents due to being heavily under the influence. The outcome of this factor is, however, due to a complicated interplay of depression, a lack of income0generating venture, and the effect of acting under influence, which can be argued to be the ultimate cause of criminal behavior.

The Past, Present, and the Future

Women and victimization that leads to criminal behavior is a subject that has only gained interest in recent times. While oppression was rampant in the past, I think that there were not many reports of the correlational effect of engaging in criminal activities because many women would choose not to engage in any controversial behavior because of the likelihood of being victimized more. The present state is the manifestation of women trying to come out of the comfort zone following being oppressed, which could be attributed to women empowerment that is common in the current generation. Heading into the future, it is projected that there will be more adverse and rampant incidences because, with the growth in technology, social ties are being lost, which further breaks social bonds. The involvement of women in crime is thus a critical subject that needs urgent intervention to salvage the situation especially following report that many women are being reported in


The topic of women and victimization is a significant topic that is worth researching based on the recent correlation that has been established linking women to crime due to prior incidences of oppression. Two of the primary criminal activities that women have being reported to engage have been substance abuse and being involved in gangs that commit crimes. Theoretically, the explanation for the trend is based in the understanding of the social theory that underscores that the effect of joining in crime is augmented when the subject has a poor foundation in their social bonds and domestic foundation. With the rising incidences in the present as opposed to the past, it is suggested that unless efforts are instituted to curb the effect, it is anticipated that there will be more grave outcomes in the future.