Friday 9 September 2011

Women who abuse and kill their victims

It is hard to accept the fact that some members of the female species really are just as bad as those of the male species. The reality is that men have been sexually abused by women. Some people view it as an impossible act—that a male can’t be sexually assaulted by a female and others view it as sexually titillating.

Most data about violent crime and criminal types has centered on males, and that's attributed to the idea that males are more aggressive, violent, and criminally versatile than females. However, it may also have something to do with the fact that most of the researchers and criminologists have been male. Traditionally, it's been more difficult for men to admit to violence in women than to dissect the methods and motives of their own gender. As British philanthropist Lord Astor put it, "Everyone starts out totally dependent on a woman. The idea that she could turn out to be your enemy is terribly frightening." The truth is that some females are just as cold-blooded as males.

While researchers repeat one another in pointing out how even in violence, women are still the gentler sex, there are times when a female shows more spunk. Instead of poison, she may grab an axe, even a gun. Instead of killing a customer who failed to pay for drugs, she might bear and kill children one at a time. In fact, women outnumber men in the deaths of children and come equal to them in killing siblings and parents.

The existence of female perpetrators and male victims confronts many of our most firmly held beliefs about women, men, sexuality, power, and sexual assault. It challenges our very notions about what sex is.

On the whole, discussions and writings about sex refer exclusively to heterosexuality, which is considered normal and natural. The commonly held view of heterosexuality is that men are always wanting and seeking sex with females; males are dominant, while females are submissive. Men initiate sexual encounters, and women accept or decline male invitations for sex. That may be the common practice but not always.

If a female initiates sexual contact with a male, this is viewed as a rare and exciting opportunity that no man should let pass by; he should be grateful. Given these commonly held beliefs, many people see nothing wrong with a woman pursuing a man sexually.

As an example of this, I will tell you what occurred years ago in a small English town. Word got around that men who were walking along a certain path at night were being sexually assaulted by a young woman. A number of men purposely walked on that path at night so that they too could be sexually attacked by the woman. One of the men however didn’t want to be attacked by her and he recognized who she was and called the police. She was arrested. A few days later, the man was waylaid by a group of men and severely beaten for what he had done.

Masochistic men are drawn to women who are aggressive in bed and this is also one of the reasons why men go to women who practice bondage and discipline which usually involves either physical or psychological restraint, formalized service and/or punishment, and sometimes sexual role playing.

However, the myth that men can’t be victimized by women is firmly entrenched in many cultures. Many men who dare acknowledge that they were sexually abused by women are cruelly laughed at and humiliated. Most do not dare say a word about it for fear of feeling any more ashamed than they already feel.

Unfortunately, many men who were sexually abused by women are locked in silence, shame, and self-loathing. Society tells them that not only was their experience not abuse, but that they should have enjoyed it, and if they didn’t there must be something terribly wrong with them. Even when their experiences are recognized as abuse, they may be viewed as having been “weak” or “not man enough” because they were unable to stop it, defend themselves, or put it behind them.

Many men who were sexually abused by women feel deeply ashamed of themselves, their sexuality, and their gender. Sadly and mistakenly, they believe that there must be something profoundly wrong with them that they were abused in this way. Some men defend against feeling this way by being in a constant state of anger or rage. Many male survivors cope with the abuse by drinking, using drugs, living recklessly, avoiding intimate relationships, numbing their feelings, dissociating, and becoming depressed, anxious or angry.

Men who were sexually abused by women rarely see their reality reflected in articles, books, services, and web sites that are created for sexual abuse survivors. The fact that it is not widely acknowledged or accepted that boys as well as girls are sexually abused, and women as well as men sexually abuse children is damaging to men who were abused by women.

Many male survivors live in isolation, fear, shame, anger, and silence precisely because they know the taboos in our culture about talking about this form of abuse. It needn’t be this way. We can acknowledge that men are abused and women abuse men without diminishing the reality of male perpetrated violence and female victimization. Understanding this form of abuse contributes to our knowledge about abuse in all its forms - something that we will all benefit from.

Three symptom groups constitute the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder syndrome: re-experiencing the trauma in intrusive memories, nightmares, or flashbacks; numbing of affect and avoidance of thoughts, acts, and situations that symbolize the trauma; and symptoms of excess arousal, such as sleep disturbance and an exaggerated startle response. The diagnosis requires the persistence of symptoms for at least one month and a clinically significant distress or impairment.

Kinsey, a renown authority on human sex noted over fifty-eight years ago (1948 and 1953) that as many as half of Americans participated in sexual activities that could be considered mildly masochistic or sadistic (such as biting or spanking). More recently, Donnelly and Straus (1994) reported that 61% of the college students in their sample had been sexually aroused while imagining or participating in these same activities. Media images of being dominated or dominating a partner during sexual activity are common, and are regularly seen in movies, television, music videos, and magazine advertisements. Bondage and discipline clubs exist in almost every major city, and even the Internet contains areas for those who enjoy sado-masochistic activities.

In a ten year follow up to the Person et al. (1989) study, Hsu, Kling, Kessler, and Knapke (1994) found that men were more likely than women to engage in whipping/beating a partner, degrading a sexual partner, and torturing a sexual partner. Women reported no tendencies towards this behavior. On the sadomasochistic fantasy items, the only significant difference was that males fantasized more about forcing a partner to submit than did females. They concluded that at least in the area of fantasy, male-female convergence was taking place, largely due to the diminishing effects of traditional gender roles.

Conversely, Donnelly and Straus (1994) found that men are more aroused by masochistic sexual fantasies and behaviors than are women. They reported that men were significantly more likely to be excited by both fantasies and activities of being restrained and being spanked than were women. Their results add support to research showing that men are more active in most sexual behaviors and fantasies than are women.

Female perpetrators can be just as violent as men. We know this, yet the stereotype and reality of the ‘emotionally clingy’ female perpetrator is given more attention because it confirms our beliefs that women are weak, emotionally dependent, and non-violent.

On October 12th 1994, the Rocky Mountain News wrote the following article.

Carolyn Gloria Blanton, 41, is charged in the shooting death of Peter Michael Green, 51, of Alamosa last winter. Her first appearance in Alamosa County District Court is scheduled Monday. Some remains of the man were found in cooking utensils at the suspect's apartment, a sheriff's deputy has testified. Judge Jean Paul Jones admitted 40 pieces of evidence ranging from a .25-caliber pistol and ammunition to a cooking pot, bowl and spoon that allegedly contained bite-size chunks of human flesh. Green's torso was found in a closet at his home. The legs were found in a nearby trash bin. "The flesh and the meat were off the legs," Sheriff's Capt. Les Sharff testified. "They had been totally cut away from the bones themselves, from the ankle up." Blanton had become a suspect because of her "boyfriend-girlfriend" relationship with Green. unquote

The wide use of the Internet has highlighted that thousands of people harbor sexualized cannibalistic fantasies. Discussion forums and user groups exist for the exchange of pictures and stories of such fantasies. Typically, people in such forums fantasize about eating being eaten by members of their sexually preferred gender. As such, the cannibalism fetish or paraphilia is one of the most extreme sexual fetishes. Oral sex holds expressions of eating or devouring for both sexes, so cannibalism is obviously not only for men.

While male perpetrators are more likely to engage in anal intercourse and to have the victim engage in oral-genital contact, females tend to use more foreign objects as part of the abusive act. What follows is an example of this form of deviance.

Tiffany Nicole Long was a 10 year old white girl who was raped and murdered on October 17th, l998 by two black youths and a 17-year-old black girl. As reported in the March/April 1999 edition of White Voice, Tiffany was horribly raped and murdered. It was reported that the 17-year-old girl took a stick and shoved it up her victim’s bleeding vagina after she was raped, ramming it into her chest cavity. Then the victim was reportedly turned over and had the same done to her rectum. An unconfirmed report had her skinned like a rabbit. This is why the police forbade her parents from seeing her dead body and a closed casket ceremony was required.

There is evidence that females are more likely to be involved with co-abusers, typically a male. Karla Leanne Homolka, also known as Karla Leanne Teale (born 4th of May 1970 in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian convicted killer, torturer and sexual deviant. After she and her husband Paul Bernardo kidnapped two teenage girls, he raped them and both of these deviates took turns torturing them before the girls were killed.

Men do most of the sexual abuse of children. In the past women were not believed to be perpetrators of child sexual abuse except in very rare circumstances. Those women who did commit sexual abuse were seen as seriously disturbed. Homolka was a very disturbed woman.

In his Encyclopedia of Serial Killers, Michael Newton describes how a 23-year-old playwright and actress, Veronica Lynn Compton, contacted Kenneth Bianci (serial killer) in prison. They got together and came up with a plot to save him. She would go around the country and kill women as a way to show that the Hillside Strangler was still at work. They had imprisoned the wrong man. He had given her some body fluids for her to use to make it look like a rape and murder. She went first to Bellingham to lure a woman to her death. She checked in to the Shangri-la Motel and then spotted a short woman who worked in a bar. She thought it would be an easy task to dispatch with her, so she brought the woman to the motel and tried to strangle her. Veronica was a woman without much muscle, while the intended victim was athletic and worked another job with the Parks and Recreation Service. She struggled and got away, while Veronica was arrested.

As many as 86% of the victims of female sexual predators aren't believed, so the crimes go unreported and don't get prosecuted. It is beyond my understanding as to why some police officers find it hard to believe that women sexually assault men and boys. Although 75% of sexual predators are male, 25% are female. In the past, it was a common assumption that females did not or could not sexually abuse children or youth. Even some professionals working in the field believed that women represented only about 1% to 3% of sexual abusers at most. However, mounting research evidence about sexual abuse perpetration at the hands of teen and adult females has begun to challenge our assumptions, though these earlier and dated views still tend to predominate. Awareness about female sexual abuse perpetrators has increased in recent years.

The reasons why some women become recalcitrant sex offenders is incompletely understood, but it may result from a combination of hyper sexuality, associations with early sexual experiences, and imitation of abuse perpetrated on them. They even tend to use the same forms of abuse that they had once experienced. Most of female abusers are immature, dependent, and sensitive to rejection, so they tend to gravitate toward younger people who are not their peers. The risk of rejection is less likely and they create situations in which they can be in control.

These female perpetrators generally come from chaotic homes. Some of these women get involved with men who then use them in more serious crimes, although the majority of partners in murder appear not to have suffered abuse. How they get to the point of criminal behavior is more often influenced by how the partner treats them over a period of time. The relationship between Homolka and her husband Bernardo is a case in point.

Former FBI Special Agent Robert Hazelwood, Dr. Park Dietz, and Dr. Janet Warren conducted a six-year study together on 20 women who had been the wives and girlfriends of sexual sadists, who were the most cruel, intelligent, and in some cases, criminally sophisticated offenders confronting criminal investigators today. They relied on a protocol of 450 questions and published the results in the third edition of Practical Aspects of Rape Investigation. Thirteen of the women had married their partner and the remaining seven had dated the man exclusively. Most of them had been persuaded to engage in a variety of deviant practices, such as sex with animals, sex in groups, bondage, and being whipped. Seven of the men had killed numerous victims, and four of the women were present for those murders. Eventually they all feared for their lives or the lives of their children.

The surprising thing to Hazelwood was how normal the women seemed. They had come from middleclass backgrounds and usually had no criminal record. They weren't abused or mentally ill. The thesis of the study is that the males target vulnerable women with low self-esteem and then go to work on them, gradually making them compliant and willing to do almost anything.

There are over 90,000 women in prison today, and 90 percent of them are mothers. According to the statistics on, the typical profile of the female inmate is that of a young, single mother without much education or many marketable skills. More than three-fourths of these women are between the ages of 25 and 34, and many have experienced sexual or physical abuse. Typical convictions are for property crimes or for defending themselves against abuse and men tend to serve less time for the same crimes as women. Men also get to spend more time on average outside their cells. Contrary to common notions, 80 percent of incarcerated women are nonviolent. However, it is the 20% that this article is written about.

Thirty years ago when I was doing group counselling with women in a correctional facility, I found that a great many of them were lesbians who didn’t necessarily hate men—they simply weren’t that interested in associating with them. What I did find most interesting however was that they were for the most part, quite intelligent. They knew that their crimes were brought about by their own stupidity but that can be also said about male offenders.

I doubt that the mind set of violent adult female offenders can be changed. What has to be done is to treat the young female offenders in a manner that they will benefit from whatever treatment they receive from the professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.

I believe that the problems with these female offenders began in their homes. Admittedly, some offenders came from homes in whom their parents were carrying and loving to all of their offspring. But if you have parents who are brutal and uncaring to their children, then their children in some cases will end up as brutal killers and sex deviants and women are no exceptions when it comes to them being capable of sexually abusing and killing their victims.

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