There is an expectation that women will be nurturers and carers. Women who have been judged violent, destructive and criminal and who are detained in the criminal justice system can find themselves perceived through a distorted lens as unwomanly. This book explains how they become hypervisible in their difference while the histories of trauma and suffering that are communicated through their offending and other risk behaviour remain hidden and so are unseen.
Bringing together authors uniquely placed as experts in their fields, this book argues that it is essential to trace the traumatic roots of women’s violence and offending. Powerful intergenerational factors perpetuate the cycles of offending and trauma re-enactment that current sentencing practice overlooks. The authors of this book present a psychoanalytically informed account of the development of violence and other offending, identifying pathways for change to address trauma within the lives of these women and their children, and also to create a responsive, effective and sensitive workforce.
Invisible Trauma highlights the role of emotional, social and cultural forces in traumatizing women who come into contact with the criminal justice system and uncovers areas of their lives that are all too often hidden from view. It will be invaluable to those working in clinical and forensic psychology, mental health nursing, psychotherapy, social work, medical practice and women’s health, as well as frontline practitioners in the criminal justice system, the health service and third sector organizations and for anyone with an interest in racism, equality and social justice.
"With the intellectual depth of an academic periodical and the narrative potency of investigative journalism, this project is a paragon of accessible, nuanced and potent writing. This radiates particularly from the authors’ inquest into the treatment of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority women in prison. As somebody who has conducted their own review into punitive treatment of BAME individuals, I am in awe of their courage in uncovering how some women are forced to repeat the same brutalising exchanges with authority that defined the colonial era. Stunningly broad yet rigorously focused, these authors ruthlessly expose the harm of a criminal justice system that responds to complex histories of trauma with retribution rather than understanding. Expertly examining the intersection of violence, marginalisation and racial disproportionality, this book is not just hugely enlightening. Rather, is essential, particularly for those who legislate on how women are treated by a penal system that is in desperate need of reform."
- David Lammy MP
2. Maternal Violence: Ordinary and Extraordinary
3. The Criminalisation of Blackness
4. Caught in the Racist Gaze?:
The vulnerability of black women to forensic mental health and criminal justice settings
5. Prostitution: Visible Bodies, Hidden Lives
6. Self-Harm: Inscriptions and Survival
7. Taboo: Female Psychopathy and Sex Offending
8. Restricted Status and Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection: Extreme Violence and Female Terrorism
9. Intoxicating States of Mind: Violence and its impact
10. What Happened? An attachment based understanding of detained women with offending histories and diagnoses of personality disorder
11. In prison and imprisoned: Organised defences working against black women and girls
12. Why the Caged Bird Sings