1st Edition

Women Who Kill Violence, Trauma, and Forensic Psychology

    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    Women rarely kill. How and why a woman can be driven to lethal action is often highly complex and misunderstood. Many of these women who act lethally are driven to such a point as a last resort following prolonged experiences of child abuse and/or domestic violence. This book offers insights into these women, detailing their motivations, their patterns of violence, and how they can be aided through psychological evaluation and proper expert testimony. The chapters in this volume also include discussions of women who did not kill but were punished as if they had. This collection of writings seeks to fill the gaps in research on women who kill.

    This book is beneficial to students and researchers of Psychology including Forensic Psychology. It will further aid the field of criminal justice as well as policymakers such that clinicians can provide an enhanced understanding on various psychological and demographic factors which contribute to situations where battered women reach a point where the only option to ensure survival is lethal self-defense. Finally, this book offers clarity as it points out the areas in which the legal system has failed these women. 

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.

    Introduction - Women Who Kill, Intimate Partner Violence, and Forensic Psychology

    Lenore E. Walker, Amanda E. Temares, Brandi N. Diaz and David L. Shapiro


    Part I: The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Motivating Factors Driving Women to Kill


    1. Common Characteristics of Women Who Kill In the Context of Abuse: A Content Analysis of Case Files

    Samantha Scott, Robert Geffner, Ronald Stolberg and Skultip Sirikantraporn


    2. Maternal Filicide: A Review of Psychological and External Demographic Risk Factors

    Alyssa Frederique, Ronald Stolberg, Jan Estrellado and Carvel Kellum


    Part II: Gender Roles and Intimate Partner Victimization


    3. The Mediating Effect of Traditional Gender Beliefs on the Relationship between Gender Disparities and Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration

    Julia O’Connor, Kristina Nikolova, Iris Cardenas and Simone Snyder


    4. Cognitive Reappraisal as a Protective Factor in the Association between Cyber Intimate Partner Victimization and Depression in Hispanic Emerging Adults

    Jorge I. Cantu, Ruby Charak, Jason Popan and Arthur Cantos


    5. Does Power at Home Protect Women from Violence? A Comparative Analysis between Urban and Rural Colombian Women

    Esperanza Camargo


    Part III: Women Who Do Not Kill


    6. An Exploratory Study of “No-Crime” Homicide Cases Among Female Exonerees

    Nicky A. Jackson, Margaret Pate, Kathryn M. Campbell and Amy Shlosberg


    7. Parental Grief, Wrongful Incarceration, and the Continued Effects after Exoneration

    Amanda E. Temares, Brittany D. Parker, Lenore E. Walker and David Shapiro


    Part IV: Evaluation of Women Who Have Killed


    8. Psychological Testing in Forensic Evaluations of Battered Women Who Kill

    Stephanie Akl, Amanda E. Temares, Brandi N. Diaz and Lenore E. Walker


    9. Psychological Evaluation of Battered Women Who Kill in Self-Defense: A Review of 34 Cases

    Lenore E. Walker, Amanda E. Temares, Brandi N. Diaz and Giselle Gaviria


    Part V: Consultation and Expert Witness Testimony in Cases of Women Who Have Killed


    10. Litigation Consultation in Cases of Women Who Kill

    John Delatorre


    11. Battered Women Charged with Homicide: Expert Consultation, Evaluation, and Testimony

    Mindy B. Mechanic


    Part VI: Trauma, Abuse and Corrections


    12. Examining Trauma Symptoms and Interpersonal Dependency within Incarcerated Psychopathic and Non-psychopathic Women

    Jason M. Smith, Carl B. Gacono and Ted B. Cunliffe


    13. Resilience Building Programs in U.S. Corrections Facilities: An Evaluation of Trauma-Informed Practices in Place

    Savanah Mueller, Mark Hart and Cary Carr


    14. “We’re Still Human”: A Reproductive Justice Analysis of the Experiences of Criminalized Latina Mothers

    Allison D. Crawford, Kelly McGlothen-Bell, L. Noël Marsh and Lisa M. Cleveland


    Lenore Walker introduced Battered Woman Syndrome into the courts in the 1980s. She is a 2023 recipient of the APF Gold Medal of Psychology Impact. Dr. Walker is an Educator and Psychologist who practices and testifies on forensic cases, especially in cases where one’s state of mine is impacted by gender violence events.


    David Shapiro is recognized as one of the first individuals who practiced and wrote about the field of clinical forensic psychology, by looking at forensic psychology from the point of view of practice issues rather than theory and research. He has taught, presented, written, and received awards in the field of forensic psychology.


    Amanda Temares is Postdoctoral Resident in Fort Lauderdale, USA. She has worked with a variety of populations and presently works with children, adolescents, and adults who are involved with the Florida Department of Children and Families as well as those who experience serious and persistent mental illness.


    Brandi Diaz is Forensic Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow at the Forensic Services department within the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Her clinical duties include a variety of criminal and civil evaluations. She is the author of several articles and book chapters related to gender violence and evaluation procedures.