Is Spousal Homicide? The Condition Of Battered Woman Syndrome ( Bws )
1576 Words Aug 2nd, 2014 7 Pages
Darla is a woman who was repeatedly abused, raped, and forced into prostitution by her husband. Since domestic violence is present in this case, there are several strategies and psychological theories that could be used to assist Darla’s defense. The first psychological theory that could be used is the condition of Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS). BWS refers to the behavioral and psychological symptoms women who have lived in environments of domestic violence experience (Lifschitz, 2004). Women who suffer from BWS “are in a state of ‘learned helplessness’ brought on from repeated abuse” (Lifschitz, 2004, para 2) Lifschitz (2004) also explains how a “women’s experience with attempts to control the violence of their batterers would, over time, produce learned helplessness and diminish the woman 's motivation to respond” (Lifschitz, 2004, para 4). The formation of learned helplessness explains why battered women, like Darla, do not attempt to free themselves from battering relationships (Lifschitz, 2004).
Fulero & Wightman (2009) state that a woman who has been abused, and responds to the abuse, is responding out of the “extremity and consistency of violent acts and the nature of, and resources available to the victim” (p. 153-154). The battered woman self-defense is necessary to the battered woman, this form of self-defense is vital, in order to protect the woman or someone else from further harm or death, such as her…