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Women who kill: a psycho-legal literature review

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. H.G. Pretorius Mr. E. Labuschagne en
dc.contributor.author Maritz, Shirley-Ann
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-06T07:26:57Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-06T07:26:57Z
dc.date.issued 2008-11-06T07:26:57Z
dc.date.submitted 2003-10
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1525
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract According to the Department of Correctional Services 1368 women were imprisoned on charges of culpable homicide, murder and attempted murder in 2001. In 2002 this figure came to 1136, meaning that a total of 2 504 women are currently serving sentences for the above mentioned crimes in South African prisons. Yet the judicial and psychological issues surrounding female murderers go largely unexplored (Dept. of Correctional Services, 6 September 2002).Debbie Jones, founder of the Heartwork Foundation dealing specifically with women in prison, also believes that the growing awareness surrounding women who kill partners in an abusive relationship is due largely to the new focus on human rights. This creates a space for raising this issue through providing a platform for organizations such as People Opposed to Women Abuse (POWA) to highlight the plight of an, up to now, marginalized group. The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation has added to this focus through their study of sentencing practices in relation to women who commit murder (Personal interview, D. Jones, 23 May 2003).The perennial fascination with violent crime and particularly murder, ensures a steady outpouring of material on the subject- be it in the form of newspaper articles, magazine features, empirical studies or biographies of notorious killers. However, this coverage is always selective and piecemeal, certainly never a solid basis for generalization. What they reveal tends to be more the preoccupations of the era than the major social trends (Cameron & Frazer, 1988). This study attempts to draw together the diverse views and information on female murder to create a unified picture of this occurrence. As shown by the various studies it is dangerous to construct a picture of a typical female killer against whom all others are measured judicially (Vetten & Ngwane, 2002). The context surrounding these crimes is therefore of paramount importance. This study is therefore not only valuable in drawing together divergent reports on women who commit murder but also to provide a possible guideline for future restructuring and reframing of the judicial and societal processes surrounding women who kill. It attempts to portray a South African picture of a hitherto unstudied area namely women who kill in the unique South African surroundings. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Women murderers en
dc.subject Women serial murderers en
dc.title Women who kill: a psycho-legal literature review en
dc.type Thesis en


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