Coercion and Women Co-offenders
A Gendered Pathway into Crime

Five: Applying the ‘Continuum of Coercion’: An Alternative, Feminist Framework

This chapter begins by critiquing the representation of the women’s reasons for offending as being a ‘rational choice’. Furthermore, the chapter introduces an alternative feminist conceptual framework to gain a more nuanced understanding of coercion as a pathway into crime for co-offending women. This framework is applied to the case studies analysed in this research by drawing on the women’s testimonies and experiences, taken from the case file material. The framework of a ‘continuum of coercion’ highlights the ways in which abusive, controlling and/ or obsessive relationships with a male partner may influence a woman’s ‘decision’ to offend and suggests that in some instances, such behaviours should be understood as being part of the wider continuum of domestic violence.

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