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PSYC 3310 (80)

Ch. 10: Battered Woman Syndrome

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PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Ch. 10: Battered Woman Syndrome Thursday, May 24, 2011:00 PM BatteredWoman Syndrome& Domestic Violence BatteredWoman: - Timid - Not-assertive - Low self-esteem - Sensitivity to social cues - Submissive - Fearful BatteredMan: - Same Possible Questions - Why didn't she just leave? ○ [Financially dependent, dependent for her children, social status, fear of death] - Did she really suffer from battered woman syndrome? - Is battered woman syndrome a 'justification' for killing? ○ [According to the law, there is no justification for killing] - Can it be used as an insanity defense? ○ [Not classified as a mental illness in the DSM, cannot be used] - Should abused women be imprisoned or receive psychological help? - How much abuse is abuse? How much did he abuse her? Domestic ViolenceIncidenceRates?[no need to remember numbers for test] - 1993: Data from course textbook - 29% of previously/currently married women - 59% of women in BC report experiencing at least one incidence of violence - 5.2% of marriages have serious, repetitive violence - 21% of women abused by a partner were abused during pregnancy OtherTypesof Abuse - Emotional: ○ Limited contact with family & friends (?jealousy) ○ Put downs & name calling to lower self-esteem ○ Harms, or threatens to harm, close other ○ Demands to know who you are with and where you are at all times ○ Damages or destroys spouse's possessions - Financial ○ Denies access to family income VictimizationSurvey(2004): Questions VictimizationSurvey(2004): Questions - In the past 5 years, has current/prior spouse or partner… ○ Threatened to hit you with his/her fist or anything else that could have hurt you? ○ Thrown anything at you that could have hurt you? ○ Pushed, grabbed, or shoved you in a way that could have hurt you? ○ Slapped you? ○ Kicked you, bit you, or hit you with his/her fist? ○ Hit you with something that could have hurt you? ○ Beaten you?, Choked you? ○ Used or threatened to use a gun or knife on you? ○ Forced you into unwanted sexual activity? VictimizationSurvey(2004): Outcome - 7% women, 6% men reported some physical or sexual violence - Women had more serious, injurious, & repeated violence than men ○ More women (23%) than men (15%) reported being beaten, choked, or threatened with, or had gun/knife used against them ○ More women (21%) than men (11%) reported > 10 violent episodes ○ More women (44%) than men (18%) sustained injury VictimizationRisk Factors - Being female - Separation from abused (especially for women)-- violence increased at time of separation - Rates for common-law relationships 3X higher than marital unions - Partners of heavy drinkers 6X more likely to experience spousal violence than those whose partners never drank heavily Myths about AbusedWomen 1. They are masochists 2. They provoke assaults… not a myth! 3. They are free to leave at any time • Why don't they leave… really? ○ Isolated from families ○ No financial means ○ Fear, e.g., Jane Corkum (aka Jane Stafford, Jane Whynot) ○ Other reasons include religious beliefs, shame, dependents, nowhere to go BatteredWoman Syndrome(BWS) - Syndrome = Group of symptoms that occur together and characterize a diseaseor disorder - BWS = "a woman's presumed reactions to a pattern of continual physical and psychological abuse" Componentsof BWS (Walker, 1984) - (1) Learned (Psychological) helplessness ○ Lowered self-esteem ○ Impaired functioning Loss of the assumption of safety ○ Loss of the assumption of safety ○ Fear & terror ○ Anger/rage ○
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