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Lecture 6

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York University
PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Lecture 6 –Battered Woman Syndrome and Domestic Violence (May 24 )h Battered woman  Submissive, Tennessee, not assertive, low self-esteem, sensitivity to social cues o These are misconceptions,  Tennessee woman on death row – still has been victims released  German trial nine years earlier she did not testify about the abuse she endured because she felt it would harm her children o She was suffering from a bout of life syndrome o Other circumstances after this have generally received lesser sentences Possible questions  Why didn’t she just leave? o Financial support o Children o Social status o Fear of death  Did she really suffer from battered wife syndrome?  Is battered wife syndrome the justification for killing? o According to the law there is no justification for killing o Battered wife syndrome and tries to rationalize though not justify  Can it be used as an insanity defense? o No  How much abuse is abuse? How much did he abuse her?  Should the accused women be imprisoned? Psychological help? Domestic violence incidence rates  1993 o 29% of currently and previously married women experience abuse o 59% of women in British Columbia experience at least one incident of violence o 5.2% of marriages have serious repetitive violence o 21% of women abuse were abused during pregnancy Other types of abuse  Emotional o Limited contact with family and friends (?jealousy)  abuser moves abused to different location away from family and friends  Restrict access to support systems o Put downs and some name calling to lower self esteem o Harms or threatens to harm to close other such as children are family o Demands to know who you are ways and where you are at all times up o damages are destroys your possessions  financial o denies access to family income Victimization survey [2004]  Some questions o In the past five years as your current spouse...  Threaten to hit you  Thrown something back to you  Pushed, grabbed or shoved you  Slapped you  Choked you  Forced you into unwanted sexual activity of  Approximately same percentage of men and women (6 and 7%) report violence  Women  more serious injuries and repeated violence  23% of women and 15% of men reported being beat, choked and threatened  2% of women and 11% of men reported 10 or more violent episodes Victimization Risk Factors  Being female  Separation from abuser (especially for women) – violence tends to escalate  3X higher for abuse in common-law compared to marital union  Partners of heavy drinkers – 6X more likely to experience spousal violence than those whose partners never drank heavily o Myths of Abused Women 1. They are masochists (enjoy being beaten) 2. They provoke assaults (not a myth!) a. Tend to provoke assaults where there are others who can intervene 3. They are free to leave whenever a. They don’t be because... i. Isolated from families ii. No financial means iii. Fear (e.g. Jane Corkum aka Jane Stafford, Jane Whynot) iv. Other reasons include religion, shame, nowhere to go Battered Women Syndrome  Syndrome = group of symptoms that occur together and characterize a disease or disorder  Battered women syndrome: a woman’s presumed reactions to a pattern of continual physical and psychological abuse Components of Battered Women Syndrome 1. Learned (psychological) helplessness  Electrocuting dogs when they tried to leave their cage o After a while, dogs not longer tried to leave cage even when they were free to  Leads to lowered self esteem o Impaired functioning o Loss of the assumption of safety o Fear and terror o Anger and rage o Diminished alternatives – energies focuse
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