In December 2014 Australia awoke to the devastating news that eight children had been violently murdered in a Cairns home. Mersane Warria was later taken into custody and charged with the murder of her seven children and her niece. The nation grieved at the loss of these children as we began processing the unimaginable horrors they must have endured in their final moments.
In the following media reports there was speculation that domestic abuse was a common occurrence in Mersane Warria’s home and it’s reasonable to assume that her violent outbursts were not limited to a one off experience. We have heard little of this tragedy since the news broke. A seemingly isolated event, this case has been pushed to the back of our minds as something that happened long ago in our past and something we would like to forget.
It is disturbing to think of women as abusive, violent and murderous, yet what is profoundly alarming is our dismissing them as being these things because we have an ingrained belief that women aren’t capable of such horrors. As with men, violent women have always been present and the information given here will show that violent and abusive women are not the anomaly we believe, but are prevalent in such numbers that we need to take notice.
Custom data obtained from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) shows that prior to the Cairns deaths mothers contributed 60.6% of all child homicide deaths by biological parents in Australia during the period 2010-2012. With more recent multiple child deaths we can estimate that in the upcoming years we will see an alarming pattern that we have failed to address.
In the current narrative we are aiming to prevent violence against women, yet we are failing to acknowledge those women others need protection from. This myopic opinion and lack of foresight is endorsed through the media and our government. We talk about domestic violence, family violence and intimate partner violence with the ongoing narrative being that men are the only significant perpetrators and that domestic violence and abuse is a ‘gendered’ issue. It is not.
When reporting, data should always be heavily scrutinised for validity. However, the media rarely fact-check when reporting about domestic violence, or at best are presenting one set of data only. This disseminates information that is not only misleading but is adopted by their vast readerships and appallingly, by our government’s representatives.
After significant scrutiny, a retraction was recently published by The Guardian for a glaring error when they inaccurately reported the death rate of women. The media, the government and social conversations are responding to the same source material and we are bombarded with it. The source material tells us that the story of epidemic domestic violence is a ‘gendered’ issue with men disproportionately being perpetrators. Without doubt, everyone wants to solve this problem, but how can we do this if we don’t present and read all of the data?
What we have been ignoring is the prevalence of women who abuse and murder men, children and other women. This is the ugly truth of violence. This is what we need to talk about
This page serves to highlight female perpetrators who commit violent and abusive acts. This is not about which gender is worse or denying that men also are perpetrators, but it is instead a presentation of an alternate opinion on the stark realities of one of societies significant problems. If we are to address family violence we must do so thoughtfully and intelligently.
Domestic Abuse By Women
The Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety Study (2012)  shows that women and men both experience abuse. In the experience of current partners, 2.9% of men and 4.5% of women experienced emotional abuse since the age of 15.
When we look at the experience of emotional abuse by a previous partner since the age of 15, 21.1% of women have experienced abuse along with men at 12.1%  For men, this equates to a staggering 1,024,500 perpetrators the vast majority of whom are female, that we are currently not talking about. So while men abuse more, women are a significant contributor and there are many men who are dismissed, not taken seriously or simply do not disclose abuse in the home.
When talking about female victims, the accepted narrative is frequently that men may experience abuse but not fear. However, almost half (46%) of all men who reported emotional abuse by a woman also reported experiencing fear and anxiety in relation to their abuse.
A key factor to determine if abuse really is a gendered issue is to look at same sex relationships whereby 33% of all same sex couples have experienced intimate partner violence. This is broken down to female 41% and Male 28% [3 ] With the focus suggesting we must only protect women from men we are ignoring the fact that women need protecting from women.
The Australian Domestic & Family Violence Report  on same sex relationships also quotes US research that up to 46% of lesbians report domestic violence from an intimate partner. The figure for gay men was up to 20%.
Additionally the Fair’s Fair 2006 report on LGBT Community reported domestic abuse experiences from a previous partner being;
- Women 32.4%
- Men 30%
In each of these studies, females are shown to be at least equally, or more than twice as violent or abusive as males.
Custom data request sourced from the AIC provides detailed information from the genders for the period of 2010 to 2012. The reported findings were as follows: 
- 25.39% of all domestic homicide perpetrators are women. This is a rise of 2.4% from the previous period (2008/10).
- 20 female parents murdered their children (<18), compared to 21 male parents (which includes 8 step fathers).
- 46.5% of child domestic homicide perpetrators are female.
An often over looked statistic is that one male dies every 10 days from domestic homicide  compared to one woman every 7 days.
The above data is frequently dismissed as being male perpetrated, however you will see below that during the period 2008 – 2010, women made up 50% of all perpetrators of adult male homicides.  (Data extracted to show perpetrators of adult male victims)
In 2010-2012 these figures show Females Perpetrators to be 23 and Males 28 proving yet again that Family homicide is not a gendered issue.
The focus of childhood abuse is often that of sexual abuse. While this is certainly something we need to address, it makes up just 10-15% % of all childhood abuse experiences. In children, emotional abuse comprises 38% while neglect comprises 26%. 
The Australian Institute of Family Studies states “Evidence also suggests that mothers are more likely than fathers to be held responsible for child neglect. In a large representative study that examined the characteristics of perpetrators in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in the United States, neglect was the main type of abuse in 66% of cases involving a female caregiver, compared to 36% of cases involving a male caregiver (US DHHS, 2005).
In the following example of US data you will see that 70.6% of maltreatment of children is at the hands of their mother with just 29.4% by their father. 
Women And Stalking
2.2% of all men experience stalking which equates to 184,100 men. Of the 4.2% of women who reported stalking in the last 12 months, 11% were from other women. 
Other Domestic Violence
Before you read more stories about the issue of violence being only something unidirectional from men and boys, I ask you to take note of 1700 peer reviewed studies that clearly exposes the truth how domestic violence is NOT a gendered problem.
You will only ever learn what you study, and I strongly assert that we need to start asking better questions with a gender neutral approach to research and data analysis if we want to stem the domestic violence problem.
The following extensive list has been compiled to raise awareness of female perpetrators of violence, abuse and murder. It was completed in approximately 90 minutes of researching with the Google search engine for recent news items (most in past 12 months). Given that we don’t usually see reporting of female perpetrated violence or abuse, and how when men present to police to report abuse from women they are dismissed or told to ‘man up’ and take it, the question is left begging as to how many other stories of abuse and physical violence don’t make it past the editor’s desk.
This lists was compiled using the different searches for: Woman Killed Husband, Mother Kills Daughter, Daughter Kills Mother, Mother Kills Children, Woman Abuses Boyfriend, Sisters Kills Brother/Sister; Infanticide and so on. The evidence you receive will be found in what you search for.
I start with the stories of 110 Australian Stories Of Battered, Raped & Abused Men in Domestic Violence
Female Perpetrators In The News
**This does not represent all cases, just ones bought to my attention or found through google**
Australia (Jan ’14 to Sept 2015) – Victim Tally – 95
Mother charged with murdering son with 70 different injuries (murder was 2010, charges laid in sept 2015)
Mother Admits False Rape Claim – Charged
Woman Convicted for Rape of 12 Year Old Boy (she had a child to him – 2 victims)
Foster Care Mother Charged With Sex Crimes of 4 year old
Woman charged with attempted murder of 2 children in house fire she is also under investigation for interfering with a corpse of an infant previously
American Female Serial Killers
Sources http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4906.0Chapter8002012  http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4906.0Chapter8002012  http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/461-480/tandi469.html  http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/PDF%20files/Gay_Lesbian.pdf  http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/455174/26175232/1430141426277/AIC_NHMP_domestic_homicides_2010-12.pdf?token=jB8WS0lQPCLau8ZY77kXkGaEb7M%3D  http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/mr/21-40/mr21/04_homicide.html  http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/455174/26175233/1430141426577/AIC_NHMP_domestic_homicides_2008-10.pdf?token=Xmg1GRtjDOWCek5BQbuHZLLlcts%3D (table 7)  http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129548164  http://www.breakingthescience.org/SimplifiedDataFromDHHS.php  http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4906.0Chapter9002012
Image Source: adelaidenow.com.au
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