Feminist Criticism Of Battered Woman Syndrome

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Battered Woman Syndrome is a term that is used when a woman, after long periods of abuse, whether physical, sexual, mental and/or emotional, kills her spouse without the act of self-defense because at the time of the homicide they were not attacking her. This was first used as a defense in the 1970’s and now it is connected with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Jury nullification is the occurrence when a jury declares that a defendant is guilty in regards to the law, but they, the jury, are ignoring that because the feel that the law is wrong in this instance and/or in general. This law has been practice as a way for the American people to push back against law they find unpopular or morally wrong. An example of this is how in the 1800’s …show more content…
The legal standard in these cases, when it is allowed one is that firstly, that the victim must be a battered woman and secondly the jury would be provided an expert that would assist the them by explaining her behavior. However only some courts use this. More often battered woman syndrome is not considered a legal defense but if evidence of domestic violence and signs of a psychological toll on a person are shown, it is often seen as an excuse and/or defense for their actions. Another criticism is the feminist view on battered woman syndrome. Battered Woman Syndrome can be viewed as sexist for many reasons. Firstly, battered woman syndrome can paint women as irrational being that have no control impulse control in regards to potential mental illness. Already element of inequality because it sexist to believe that only women get abused in relationships. A man who had been battered will not viewed with compassion by a jury the same way a woman …show more content…
One famous case is that of Hawthorne vs. State of Florida. The appellant appealed her case based on the fact she felt that she should have been allowed to have an expert witness testify on her behalf in regards to battered woman syndrome. In the appellant 's original case the charge of murder was overturned, however in their second case, she believed that the court had made an error in not allowing a clinical psychologist testify about battered woman syndrome due to the fact the jury may not have been informed about prior to the case. Her appeal was held, and the case was remanded to a lower court for a third trial. Another famous case is that of Amber Cummings. Amber Cummings was married to James Cummings, who was a neo-nazi and a white supremacist and suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. He abused sexually, physically, emotionally and verbally for many years and isolated her from everyone. When their daughter was born he did not start to treat her or her daughter Clara any better. When James would attempt to abuse Clara, Amber go in the middle to protect her daughter. After a couple attempts to escape from James, the abuse towards Clara and Amber escalated and he began to become start looking at child pornography. Eventually, fearing that he would start sexually abusing her daughter, she went into James’s room when he sleeping and shot him the end, killing him. She plead guilty to the crime and a judge sentenced her to

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