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Battered woman Syndrome - Essay Example

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However, there is the potential for misuse of this defense. Two cases will be examined to show the pro and cons of the Battered-women Syndrome/Battered-women Defense. The first case is…
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Battered woman Syndrome
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"Battered woman Syndrome"

Download file to see previous pages Francine Hughes was married to an abusive man for thirteen years. She tried to leave, even divorcing her husband. However, her ex-husband moved back in. When Francine tried to go to school, her ex-husband would rip up her books. Francine would try to go back home, to the Department of Human Services, and even the police. No one could or would help. Finally, after her ex-husband raped her, Francine set his bed on fire. Francine was not verbally abused, but beaten, raped, and put in the hospital over and over for thirteen years. When she went to trial her defense was the Battered-woman Defense. A jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity.
Francines case generated much interest in the United States, with the focus on domestic violence (Westervelt, 102). The book and movie The Burning Bed caused Americans to stop and think about abused women for the first time. This story happened in the late 1970s, with the book coming out in the early 1980s. At that time battered women needed a defense for protecting themselves from abusive spouses. Yet, as the 1980s wore on, the Battered-woman Defense started to be misused. Betty Broderick definitely misused this defense.
Betty Broderick was not a battered woman, but a scorned one. It began when her husband, Dan, began an affair with his secretary. Betty felt that the deception was mental abuse. Finally, Bettys husband left her for his secretary. After a nasty legal battle, wherein she felt ganged up on, because Dan was an attorney, Betty was left with nothing. She had left her four children on Dans doorstep, so he could understand how she felt. It backfired. Dan kept the children. However, the courts did order him to pay $16,000 a month, plus insurance and other bills. Betty in the meantime started breaking into Dans home and vandalizing it. The final straw was when Dan married his secretary. Betty stole her daughters keys, let herself into Dans house, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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