Essay Title: 

The Battered Woman Syndrome

April 2, 2016 | Author: | Posted in law, legal issues

Book Review

The Battered Woman Syndrome (2000

By Lenore E . Walker , Ed .D

In her book The Battered Woman Syndrome , author Lenore Walker makes the case for Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS ) as a defense in criminal trials She does not imply that BWS justifies violent crimes such as a woman killing her abusive spouse . She does , however , present BWS as an explanation for such actions . The implication is that , because of the psychological effects of the syndrome , a woman may be unable to leave the spouse or take other actions p [banner_entry_middle]

In recent years , the use of Battered Woman Syndrome within the legal system has come under some criticism . Walker ‘s book does not attempt to resolve all of these arguments . It does present a starting point for further research

Background and Layout

The Battered Woman Syndrome is 338 pages long and divided into thirteen chapters with six appendices . It is designed to build upon Dr . Lenore Walker ‘s previous research into domestic violence . Dr Walker is a professor of psychology at Nova Southeastern University

Dr . Walker is a scientist , but she also writes from the perspective of someone who has many years of experience working with battered women This aspect , as much as anything , lends credit to her conclusions . Her early work with children led her to the conclusion that in to help the children she had to help their mothers , many of whom were abused (Walker , 2007 . This book is written through that prism of experience

The primary study that this book is based upon was conducted in the late 1970 ‘s with over 400 women who were victims of domestic violence . It builds upon earlier studies conducted by Dr . Walker that found battering is much more common than previously thought . It also can exist at all socio-economic levels but is particularly common in middle to higher income households (Walker , 2000

In the early chapters of the book , Dr . Walker presents her research findings , defines the characteristics of the batterer and his victim and presents a of violence from the behaviorist ‘s perspective . The battered woman has four general characteristics according to Walker . First , the woman assumes blame for any violence in the relationship . Second , the abused woman cannot place responsibility on her abuser for various reasons . Thirdly , fear prevents the woman from taking action and finally , the woman begins to believe that escape is impossible (2000

The middle of the book describes a number of the factors that play a part in battering . Sexual issues , alcohol , childhood issues and drugs are included . This is not a comprehensive list , nor does the book explain thoroughly the interaction between these factors . This may be the subject for future research . To Dr . Walker ‘s credit , future directions for research are devoted an entire chapter (10

Thesis and Evidence

This book sets out to establish Battered Woman Syndrome as a documented medical condition . As such , it has been included in the DSM manual as a sub-category of Post Traumatic Stress… [banner_entry_footer]

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