Early Life Trauma Among Women Shoplifters and Sex Workers

Gail A. Caputo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing from the life history of 38 drug-addicted women, this article adds to extant literature on early life trauma in female offenders by distinguishing between women on the crimes they chose to pursue. It revealed how chronic physical and sexual abuses and the invisible suffering of emotional abuse, neglect, and abandonment occurring within the childhood home resonated as the trigger for drug addiction and subsequent criminal involvement among the women. Disaggregating the female offenders by crime specialization revealed that early life trauma is most characteristic of sex workers. Women who specialized in shoplifting experienced much less early life trauma than those who specialized in sex work. [Author Abstract] KEY WORDS: female drug offenders; women crime; shoplifters; prostitution; etiology of crime; sex work; drugs; addiction
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
StatePublished - Mar 16 2009

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Early Life Trauma Among Women Shoplifters and Sex Workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this