An Essay On Battered Woman Syndrome

An Essay On Battered Woman Syndrome-11
Careers for women were expected to be in teaching and nursing.

Careers for women were expected to be in teaching and nursing.It was not long ago that a woman could not be found in the boardroom, a police department or construction site.Twenty years ago I was forced to learn something about battered women in the course of representing a woman who had killed her abusive husband.

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Historical Inequality This denial of equality was the essential cornerstone of men's violence against women and ultimately operated to deny women a fair trial when they were successful in fighting back against the violence.

From the beginning of time women were seen as inferior to men.

Bound up in these beliefs was the understanding that what happened between a man and a woman behind closed doors was a private family matter.

It was behind closed doors that women were regularly abused.

Even though government's fundamental obligation to its citizens is its duty to protect them from harm, an exception existed for the husband who would beat his wife.

Only recently have police departments begun to vigorously arrest wife beaters, less out of concern for the women than as a result of lawsuits based on an equal protection claim for a failure to protect.Then they found a system of justice that prosecuted them with a lightening quickness and efficiency never provided to protect them.Not surprisingly the attitudes that permeated a world in which wife beating was accepted had little tolerance for the woman who fought back.In many parts of our society a woman's wifely duties include sexual submissiveness.It is no surprise that a man authorized to abuse his wife would be the king of the castle and the breadwinner.The English principle of coverture established that a married woman could not own property free from her husband's claim or control. English rape laws considered rape a crime against the husband, father or fianci of the victim.Rape cases were considered properly disposed of if the male "owner" of the victim was compensated for the damage to his "property".In this reality, battered women knew that they could expect little protection from the men who beat them.Many of them died as a result but some in the face of impending death fought back and killed their abusers.I began to learn during the case that the injustice of abuse by an individual man was a symptom of a pervasive denial of human rights on a broad scale that made society itself the accomplice of the man who had beaten my client.Since then I have represented a dozen other women who fought back against their abusers and consulted in fifty to a hundred similar cases across the country.


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