If Love Could Kill: The Myths and Truths of Women Who Commit Violence
A groundbreaking work by an internationally acclaimed forensic psychotherapist that looks at women who commit extreme acts of violence and cruelty and at the underlying oppression and abuse often at the heart of these crimes
Women can be murderers and child abusers. They can commit acts of extreme and sadistic brutality. And those who do, are outcasts from society and from womanhood itself. They are seen as monsters and angels of death: and must be kept at a safe distance.
Anna Motz is a renowned clinical and forensic psychologist in London and New York. Writing with candor, compassion, and a clear-eyed perspective, she explores in depth the shockingly underexamined psychological underpinnings of female violence. Far from the heartless and inhuman monsters we might believe them to be, these women are often victims of a culture of violence and emotional trauma.
Already hailed as a landmark, Motz's daring book, bursting with humanity, makes clear that women’s violence is more widespread than most realize, that these acts of violence expose deeply held, centuries-old beliefs about women and their value, and that these acts demand to be taken more seriously as a distinctive societal taboo that can—and must—be brought into the light.
Praise for If Love Could Kill: The Myths and Truths of Women Who Commit Violence
"If Love Could Kill is not a boastful record of one success after another. Some patients do remain beyond Motz’s reach. But her successes are moving because they give hope. They show that people can surprise themselves with change.” —Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker
“[Anna Motz] challenges society’s preconceptions about violent women and how we should treat them in this thought-provoking and compassionate book. . . . Motz brings empathy and curiosity to her work, which shines through in her writing, as well as a strong belief in the possibility of rehabilitation. . . . Recommended especially to readers of true crime and forensic psychology.” —Rebecca Hopman, Booklist
"A forensic psychotherapist offers a series of moving case studies of female offenders. . . . eloquent, scholarly, and compassionate . . . A well-considered and sobering look at the psychology of women who commit violent crimes." —Kirkus Reviews
"Motz neither shies away from nor sensationalizes the grim, often shocking elements of her patients’ crimes. Instead, she carefully accounts for the psychological and social forces that can drive women to violence, and in the process builds a robust case for mitigating such behavior by raising awareness of those forces and increasing support for women in and out of the justice system. This challenges and enlightens." —Publishers Weekly