A Common Coercion Prototype in Crime Stats – My S.O made me do it!

A Common Coercion Prototype in Crime Stats – My S.O made me do it!

Though the title is less gender-specific, the history is one that a lot of female prisoners have as their history. egs.

  • their BF/spouse is their pimp
  • battered spouse syndrome
  • they were co-abuser or neglecting parent to their kids
  • financial fraud and scams

Women and girls who are convinced to participate in crimes by their S.O.

  • Because women and girls don’t have the same education and career earning opps?
  • Because women and girls are socialized to be with a partner, and stay with them?


  • Because they’re high and more easily manipulated?
  • Because they’re battered and too scared to say no?
  • Because their partner is at them every day, undermining their decision making ability and self-esteem?
  • Because the grooming happens over time, till one day they realize how deep the hole they’re in is?


And it can end up where she is the only one who serves time.


What can we as a society do to build women and girls up so they can stand alone, recognize the red flags when they see them and leave, or at least not get caught up in his criminal activity?
How do we support a woman or girl when she reports his bad acts? Do we call her crazy, or do we offer her a deal? And at what point do we say, yeah not for that. (Paul and Karla Bernardo) and say that she has to atone for her own behaviour. Or recognize that she might actually be the instigator and the one who coerces him?


Where is feminism in this? Do we have programs for female addicts and our needs? (No we don’t – Not outside a recovery centre or female only institution) Do we have programs for women and girls who get caught up with the wrong group or partner and end up in a world of hurt? Do the courts and prisons have programs for this defence?

Mostly the system ‘blames and shames’ rather than recognizing that coercion is a really destructive force, esp when someone is more fragile and has a harder time recognizing right/wrong, or is continuing a familial pattern with their partner(s) and kid(s). Like addictions and incest &/or DV.

How do we support the woman or girl before she is at the bottom of the hole? To recognize early warnings and detach herself from the coercion, if not her partner?


If you recognize this in your own life, in Canada we have an organization called the Elizabeth Fry Society who work with female issues within the criminal justice system. They will and can help. It’s their whole reason for being.

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