This study argues that the battering relationship is properly understood as a long-term homicidal process. The authors posit a social interaction perspective for understanding the forces that work toward maintaining the battering relationship and escalating it to a homicidal end.
Why are we so reluctant to believe that women can mean to kill? Based on case-studies from the US, UK and Australia, this book looks at the ways in which female killers are constructed in the media, in law and in feminist discourse almost invariably as victims rather than actors in the crimes they commit. Morrissey argues that by denying the possibility of female agency in crimes of torture, rape and murder, feminist theorists are, with the best of intentions, actually denying women the full freedom to be human. Case studies cover among others the battered wife, Pamela Sainsbury, who garrotted her husband as he slept, the serial killer, Aileen Wournos, who killed seven middle-aged men in Florida between 1989 and 1990, Tracey Wiggington, the so-called "lesbian vampire killer", and Karla Homolka who helped her husband kill two teenage girls in St. Catherines Ontario in 1993.
"This is an excellent book, written by the foremost authority in the field. [It] is easy to read and does a nice job integrating theory and research." Score: 95, 4 stars --Doody's Walker's seminal, groundbreaking book The Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) has forged new directions in the field of domestic violence for over 30 years. Now, the highly anticipated, third edition offers thoroughly updated and revised research on key topics, including posttraumatic stress disorder, learned helplessness or learned optimism, the cycle theory of violence, and much more. This third edition presents updated data generated from the newly modified Battered Woman Syndrome Questionnaire (BWSQ). With a new focus on culture and ethnicity, these data detail the experiences of foreign women who either live in their country of origin or the U.S. Like its popular predecessors, this new edition serves as a valuable resource for both professional counselors and students studying domestic violence. Discussions on the revised criteria for the BWS and PTSD: Posttraumatic stress and re-experiencing the trauma High levels of anxiety and arousal Emotional numbing, avoidance behaviors, and depression Disrupted interpersonal relationships Distorted body image and physical illnesses Sexual issues, including feelings of guilt, shame, and jealousy Key topics discussed: Attachment issues for battered women and the men who batter them Substance abuse and addiction Risk factors for further abuse Women in prison and battered women who kill their abusive partners in self-defense The Survivor Therapy Empowerment Program (STEP) which helps women better understand how the violence has impacted their lives
Women battering is one of the most pervasive and dangerous problems in American society. Helping abused women escape and remain free from violent relationships is the challenge the authors of this book have undertaken. They focus on the recently developed and implemented public policies, programs and intervention methods effective in the elimination of domestic violence and breaking the inter-generational cycle of abuse.
Women’s rights advocates in the United States have long argued that violence against women denies women equality and citizenship, but it took a movement of feminist activists and lawyers, beginning in the late 1960s, to set about realizing this vision and transforming domestic violence from a private problem into a public harm. This important book examines the pathbreaking legal process that has brought the pervasiveness and severity of domestic violence to public attention and has led the United States Congress, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations to address the problem. Elizabeth Schneider has played a pioneering role in this process. From an insider’s perspective she explores how claims of rights for battered women have emerged from feminist activism, and she assesses the possibilities and limitations of feminist legal advocacy to improve battered women’s lives and transform law and culture. The book chronicles the struggle to incorporate feminist arguments into law, particularly in cases of battered women who kill their assailants and battered women who are mothers. With a broad perspective on feminist lawmaking as a vehicle of social change, Schneider examines subjects as wide-ranging as criminal prosecution of batterers, the civil rights remedy of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the O. J. Simpson trials, and a class on battered women and the law that she taught at Harvard Law School. Feminist lawmaking on woman abuse, Schneider argues, should reaffirm the historic vision of violence and gender equality that originally animated activist and legal work.
The use of the battered woman syndrome defense in the courts is controversial, particularly when women turn to homicide in response to a partner’s abuse. Scholars worry that the syndrome has created a standard to which all battered women are compared. This book provides a comprehensive examination of the evolution of the syndrome, its effectiveness in court, and the contributions made by psychologists and legal scholars to aid our understanding of the use of battered woman syndrome evidence in trials of abused women who kill. Of particular interest is the influence of history, gender roles, and stereotypes in the evaluation of defendants who claim to suffer from the syndrome.
In the landmark Lavallee decision of 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that evidence of "battered woman syndrome" was admissible in establishing self-defence for women accused of killing their abusive partners. This book looks at the trials of eleven battered women, ten of whom killed their partners, in the fifteen years since Lavallee. Drawing extensively on trial transcripts and a rich expanse of interdisciplinary sources, the author looks at the evidence produced at trial and at how self-defence was argued. By illuminating these cases, this book uncovers the practical and legal dilemmas faced by battered women on trial for murder.