Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Spouse Abuse - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Since 1984, when Dr. Lenore Walker developed and published a social and psychological framework to explain "why and how battered women kill their abusers" (Jacobs & Ogle 4), the traditional self-defense claim has been supplemented by the notion that victimized women have a special explanation for unlawful actions against their batterers…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.1% of users find it useful
Spouse Abuse
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Spouse Abuse"

Download file to see previous pages Definition. Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) is a variation of the self-defense claim in assault and murder cases where a woman asserts an affirmative defense based on her psychological state as the result of a pattern of abuse by her batterer. BWS seeks to justify a woman's criminal conduct as excusable due to a diminished mental capacity combined with an understandably urgent need to end the abuse.
Standard Self-Defense Claim. In a traditional self-defense claim, the accused has the burden to show that they were in fear for their life, in imminent danger of physical harm, and had no recourse but to respond with reasonable, even deadly, force. This differs from BWS in that the former is based upon the facts surrounding a single event and the latter is predicated upon a psychological condition caused by extended abuse. In BWS, the accused is not required to demonstrate that, at the moment of the criminal activity, she was in immediate danger. Her proactive violence against her batterer, which would otherwise be inconsistent with the perilous situation-derived self-defense claim, does not have to be undertaken at the moment of suffering actual harm.
Argument for BWS. A victim of habitual assaults over the course of time is viewed in a sympathetic light by a judge or jury. While her actions may not be within the letter of the law, they are understandable when presented as the result of a diminished psychological state brought on by repeated abuse. Any human being, be they judge or juror, can identify with the drive to commit a violent act to escape an abusive situation. No reasonable person wants to punish a woman who has endured physical abuse over the course of months or years just because she chose to end that abuse by assaulting her attacker when he was asleep, for example, and not posing an immediate danger to her at the moment. Surely, if given the chance, he would likely pose a threat in the future and her actions seem appropriate.
Argument against BWS. Where BWS is flawed as a legal defense is within the scope of its analysis and the absence of empirical diagnosis. A BWS defense focuses solely on the state of mind of the abuse victim where she, while not in imminent danger, chooses to engage in an otherwise criminal act. This requires a judge or jury to suspend consideration of all the facts of the matter, as well as any available non-violent remedies to an abused woman, and accept that her state of mind would not permit her to escape the situation while it simultaneously allowed her to attack her attacker when he wasn't being abusive. Further, there is no definitive medical or psychological protocol to determine BWS, especially in self-reporters of abuse, making it impossible to obtain a sure diagnosis of the condition that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
My Position. I believe the BWS is a valid defense. Even though it may be hard to diagnose as a psychological impairment, the fact is that any woman who has endured sustained physical abuse could exercise a traditional self-defense claim if she acted in the moment. The fact that she chose to wait until she was not being attacked before taking action does not mitigate the obvious; she would be battered again and the state of mind created by continued abuse should be considered when she comes before a court of law. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Spouse Abuse Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Spouse Abuse Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words. Retrieved from
(Spouse Abuse Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
Spouse Abuse Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words.
“Spouse Abuse Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document


Child abuse

...? Child Abuse Fatemah Al Khalifah Research paper Dean Michael Lynn 11 12/ 11 The purpose of this research is to know what the definition of child abuse is and what are the kinds of abuse. Some parents use abuse at home with their children and home must be a safe place for children to live. Some of factors that make parents use violent with their children are alcohol, drugs, smoke, and other problems at home. In addition, there are violent from teachers at school, and they use different methods of abuse with students such as a spanking, shaking, pulling a child's hair or ear, and squeezing a child's cheeks. There are a lot of bad effects on children when...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Alcohol Abuse

...?Running Head: Alcohol Abuse and Family Theory Applying Family Theories in the Assessment and Treatment of Alcohol Abuse of Professor Date of Submission Introduction Adolescents and young adults in the family have the highest rate of alcohol abuse. Individuals with a history of alcoholism or alcohol abuse in the family are also more prone to encounter alcohol-related difficulties (Freeman, 2001). It has been known already that family members of an alcohol abuser are more prone to experience problems from alcohol abuse. Health profiles of familial alcohol abuse show that accumulation of alcohol dependence in the family is...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

How Can Domestic Violence be prevented among military families

...responses depending on: the first respondent (military or civilian police); the residence of the military family and; whether the DV victim is a military or civilian member. Consequently, Haegerich and Dahlberg (2011) affirm that the process of enforcing stated norms of the community (violence against a close partner or any other member of the family is insupportable) in both military and civilian families is complicated since to some extent it is still tolerable in some segments of the two communities as a whole. Domestic Violence in Military Families: A Review of Literature Introduction In both military and civilian families, domestic violence (spouse abuse and child maltreatment) is a major concern to...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper

Alcohol Abuse

...Introduction An increase in the alcohol consumption has been a major concern for most of the societies due to the health implications that abuse of this drug causes. Most youths do take in a lot of alcohol from very tender ages in their lives and continue doing so well into their adulthood. The results of heavy drinking of alcoholic substances have proved negative- alcohol has clearly impacted negatively on the health of the people who take excessive amounts. Deaths have been reported as consequences of excessive alcohol intake; some youths have had to quit going to school due to their addiction to alcohol and married couples living with the abuse of alcohol in their marriage will often separate or fail...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Child Abuse and Emotional Abuse

...importance and special arrangements should be made for the education of new couples. The transition from single life to married life and later on from married life to parenthood poses considerable challenges for new couples. Firstly, all new couples should be guided into understanding the basic rights of their spouse. Limits of normal behavior should be known by both individuals. To prevent emotional abuse, both members should be guided to first identify what emotional abuse is. The couple should be educated about the possible adverse effects of emotional abuse. Moreover, they should be guided about the available methods to seek help if a member suffers from emotional...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Drug abuse

...[Educational Drug abuse What are the physical and psychological risks of using this drug? How addictive is this drug? Studies conducted have revealed that physical risks emanating from alcohol consumption include automobile injuries and more than 60 diseases among them being liver cirrhosis (Freeman, par 7). Alcohol use also results to psychological risks some of which are mental health complications as manifested through depression, nervousness, disobedience, unfriendly personality and contemplating suicide. 2. What are the behavioral and psychological symptoms of use of this drug? At what age do youths often become involved with this drug? The main subtle behavioral signs of alcohol use include personality change,...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment

Substance Abuse

...Health Sciences of the of the Health Sciences Substance Abuse Substance Abuse refers to the use of illegal drugs in order to alter mood or get rid of stresses of life. When people use the word substance abuse, they usually refer to the use of illegal drugs by different people. The use of illegal drugs irrespective of its purpose is termed as abuse. These drugs are addictive and have negative implications on health, hence experts emphasize the fact that it is dangerous to use. Some people argue that recreational use of drugs is not harmful, however studies show that use of recreational drugs leads to addiction and permanent usage of drugs. People who support the recreational use of drugs favor the use of Marijuana as they feel... it is not...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay


...Child Abuse: Summary and Reflection “No charges in adopted Russian boy’s death” by the Associated Press delves into the case involving the death of an adopted Russian boy as a result, Russian authorities believe, of child abuse and neglect. Laura Shatto, the adoptive mother, found her son Max unresponsive one afternoon while he was playing with his younger half-brother Kristopher. Max was pronounced dead at the hospital a few hours later. Kristopher, also adopted by the Shattos, was unharmed. The autopsy of young Max revealed an array of bruises over his entire body, but the results of the autopsy were inconclusive, and the doctors who reviewed his body declared his death accidental. When Kristopher...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Substance Abuse

...Substance Abuse Affiliation: What is the question or issue addressed? The issue being addressed in the two sources of information is substance abuse particularly information about treatment of substance abusers. The two sources will provide the information about the myths surrounding substance abuse treatment and which are the facts according to the research bring carried out on various organizations and stakeholders. Even though the information is almost similar, there are several differences evident in the two articles in regards to the sources of the substance treatment information. The journal article has credible sources from different books and journals while the...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Word journal on the Bluest Eyes

... Instruction: Task: Alcoholism and family abuse The book The Bluest Eye has a number of themes which include alcoholism and family abuse, seeing versus being seen, the power of stories, sexual initiation and abuse, satisfying appetite versus suppressing them, season and nature, and dirtiness and cleanliness. These themes affect their daily lives of humans. This essay will look at alcoholism and family abuse as one of the major themes that is depicted in the book The Bluest eye. Oftentimes, alcoholism occurs because of economic and cultural stress and those involved use this as a method to escape that stress. Alcoholism does not only cause spouse abuse and child neglect but also but it also determines the reactions of society... Instruction:...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Spouse Abuse for FREE!

Contact Us