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Domestic Violence

by: Gina

Domestic Violence CMLGY 3301 31


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About this Document

These notes cover the chapter on domestic abuse, and also includes notes from the documentary on domestic abuse that we watched in class.
Women and Crime
Megan Sacks
Class Notes
Women, criminology, Women's Studies
25 ?




Popular in Women and Crime


This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gina on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CMLGY 3301 31 at Fairleigh Dickinson University taught by Megan Sacks in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Women and Crime in CRIMINOLOGY at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


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Date Created: 09/30/16
Domestic Violence 9/29/16 3:14 PM When a woman kills her abuser o Legal defense is battered woman syndrome, it is a valid defense o It can be used, but many judges won’t accept it  Insanity can also be intertwined with the defense o There usually isn’t a great deal of sympathy o They usually receive long sentences o Reference: The Burning Bed  Francine Hughes were married for 13 years  Husband was very abusive, it was well established that she was abused o Well established medical history  She and her children fled from the husband o She poured gasoline around the bed before they left, and set it on fire  She went to court as one of the first women to use the defense of battered women syndrome o She was found not guilty due to temporary insanity, brought on by the abuse o She was sent to a psychiatric facility for 6 months (unusually short sentence)  She went on to get married  SHE IS AN EXCEPTION o Women don’t do well in these cases, they’re often found guilty o The jury believes that domestic violence happened, while murder is permanent o In most cases, the abuse may not be as well documented as Francine’s case – people can just say she’s making it up o Women who kill their abuser during a fight have a better defense, they killed them in the heat of the moment o Juries and judges often feel that there is an option to leave  Children are often involved in these cases – the women may not leave due to their fear of the safety of their children  Financial support – most women who are abused are financially dependent on their abuser  They could have nowhere else to go  Many times an abuse victim may leave, but feel as though they have to return  Not all abuse victims want to leave, there may still be love there  The abuse victim may have such lowered sell esteem that they believe they deserve the abuse  They may be afraid  They may fear for the safety of their friends and family  There is a very real fear that their abuser may kill them  Most women who leave will not do it on the first time – it will take multiple tries for them to break off the relationship o It’s hard for victims to just leave, but there are now new policy options – and options in general – for women to leave  Pre 1980s there were no options – you were just screwed without the financial or familial means to escape  Hotlines and/or shelters  Restraining orders o Very common but very problematic o Legal document prohibiting an offender/abuser from coming within a certain distance of a victim o It’s a court order, but they are not always enforced (people are not arrested when they violate the order) o When people ARE arrested, they are not always punished for violating the order – just a slap on the wrist o A negative aspect is that the order can make the abuser more anger o It may or may not extend to the children – judges are resistant to keeping parents away from children o Abusers are emotional, and at the end of the it’s just a piece of paper  Mandatory arrest – prior to this, it was discretionary arrest o This means that a police officer could arrest, but they were not obligated to legally o When there is a report of domestic violence, an arrest is mandatory o Mandatory arrests also take the blame off of the victim o It gives the victim a break, and to consider their next move o It’s a deterrent – and sometimes it does work o Negative – even if it’s not the victim’s choice to have them arrested, the abuser may see it as their fault o Sometimes the abuse can get worse after this o If they can’t determine who started it, or the abuser pushes blame on the victim, they are both arrested  When cross accusations are made, both parties are swept into the criminal justice system  This is an unfortunate side effect  Batterer intervention programs o Essentially, therapy for the abuser o Usually part of a punishment – court ordered, part of probation, prison, or jail time o The aim is to change the behavior of the abuser o It is rehabilitation o It’s aimed at breaking the cycle of abuse o Used by itself is not enough, but long term it is helpful o Feminist researchers say we need to address the larger structural problems  The patriarchal society  Racism, classism, and sexism keep the victims quiet o Lower class women’s accusations are not taken seriously Power and Control – Domestic Abuse documentary o Women are victims of domestic violence every 18 seconds o 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence o Safe Haven Battered Women’s Shelter – one of the leading battered women’s shelters o Women need to stay at the women’s shelter for at least ten days – they need time to change their mindset  Many stay for longer since they don’t have a place to go otherwise o There is a lot of temptation for women to return to their abusers, they may not have a way to support themselves o The Duluth Model  Started in Duluth after an abused young woman killed her abuser, she wasn’t indicted  Caused people in Duluth to reconsider how they treated victims in the court  Implemented the mandatory arrest policy – when the abuse got to the point where someone was physically injured, the batterer had to be arrested o The experience of being arrested did help to deter the batterers from harming their victims again  Requires batterers to attend batterer intervention programs (mentioned in the notes above) o Kids are greatly impacted by domestic abuse – they may have been abused themselves, seeing their mother being abused can traumatize them for life  For the most part, children are afraid to outright say they’ve been abused  Coming from abusive homes, they believe that the violence is normal o Domestic violence in a system of power and control  The abuser isn’t just angry, they want to have control over their victims  There is a cycle of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse o Patriarchal society is the cause of abuse o There’s an overarching feeling in our society that women cannot leave situations that are abusive to them o The police need to be careful when going on domestic abuse calls – if they mess something up it could be detrimental to the victim o In many cases, if there is not an intervention in domestic abuse cases the violence will escalate o Forced sex happened to 40 – 45% of abused women o Abuse isn’t an individual man’s problems, it’s a global problem that women don’t feel safe in their own homes o The Duluth model now faces criticism from academics and “men’s rights activists”  It is criticized for having a narrow view that patriarchy is the cause of domestic abuse  People are trying to get rid of the violence against women act, since men are abused as well o It takes a woman 7 – 10 times to actually leave her abuse  The abuser will say they’ve changed It’s hard to economically support themselves


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