BACKGROUND: Victimization is highly prevalent in individuals with mild intellectual disability (MID) or borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) and is an important risk factor for mental health problems and violent behavior. Not much is known, however, about victimization history in women with MID-BIF admitted to forensic mental health care.
AIMS: The aim of this multicenter study is to gain insight into victimization histories and mental health problems of female forensic psychiatric patients with MID-BIF.
METHODS: File data were analyzed of 126 women with MID-BIF who have been admitted to one of five Dutch forensic psychiatric hospitals between 1990 and 2014 and compared to data of 76 female patients with average or above intellectual functioning and to a matched sample of 31 male patients with MID-BIF.
RESULTS: All forensic patients had high rates of victimization, but women with MID-BIF showed an even higher prevalence of victimization during both childhood and adulthood and more complex psychopathology compared to female patients without MID-BIF. Compared to male forensic patients with MID-BIF, women with MID-BIF were more often victim of sexual abuse during childhood. During adulthood, the victimization rate in these women was more than three times higher than in men.
CONCLUSIONS: Victimization is a salient factor in female forensic patients with MID-BIF and more gender-responsive trauma-focused treatment is needed.
- CHILD MALTREATMENT
- Forensic psychiatry
- LIFE EVENTS
- Risk factors