Chima Agazue (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2995-0179) is a UK-based British-Nigerian scholar with teaching and research interests in psychology, criminology, and criminal justice. He teaches psychology at Arden University, United Kingdom. He has also taught psychology at Bath Spa University and criminology and criminal justice at the Blackpool University Centre. His research interests include sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable women and children; child cruelty and homicide by mothers and female caregivers; witchcraft-motivated violence and homicide; ritually motivated crimes; the perception of children as spiritual entities or possessed by mischievous spirits; bystander intervention in violent emergencies; the changing patterns of female criminality, particularly criminal violence, and homicide; and the Nigerian notion of “one-chance” robbery.
Ritually motivated pedicide is among contemporary Africa’s most severe crimes against children. Most of these crimes involve brutal acts of violence or mutilation of the victim. While men are most often the perpetrators of violent crimes, ritually motivated pedicide and mutilation equally attract women. The role of women in these crimes is not restricted to the less violent aspects of the crimes; instead, they also extend to the most brutal elements, often involving mutilation, decapitation or outright murder of the victim. This article explored the involvement of women in these crimes that target children for mutilation and pedicide. The article draws on case examples of incidents involving brutality and murder of children by women selected from academic reports and reports by media and non-governmental organisations to demonstrate the nature of involvement in these crimes. The article demonstrates that women also engage in the most serious roles with or without the company of men in ritually motivated pedicide and mutilation. These include mutilation and violent murder of children who are used for rituals. The author argues that the high degree of violence in ritually motivated mutilation and pedicide means that these crimes against children deviate from the established female patterns of aggression that are typically less violent.
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Agazue, Chima (2023) "Female Perpetrators of Ritually Motivated Pedicide and Mutilation of Children," Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 8: Iss. 1, Article 6. https://doi.org/10.23860/dignity.2023.08.01.06
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