Battered Women Syndrome
Overwhelmingly I have the utmost compassion for women who have fallen victim to mental and physical abuse. My empathy is derived from the fact that I have a very close (female) friend that literally escaped with her life out of an abusive marriage. And after many years divorced, she still struggles with some deep emotional scars. In addition, I’ve also witnessed a man (husband) beat his wife in public, and yes I did intervene on her behalf and maybe saved her life.
As a man, in light of my experiences (first hand and otherwise) I’m appalled at the thought that any man could physically batter any woman and feel justified. In some male dominated circles the prevailing thought is, “she got what she deserved.” But this type of maligned attitude is truly baseless and simply rooted in the need to control another person.
In my opinion I don’t think socioeconomic statistics, race or ethnicity can accurately reflect if battered women make up a certain segment of society. My reasoning lies in the fact that there are many women from varied backgrounds who, suffer in silence and never file an abuse incident with the proper authorities. On the other hand due to socioeconomic stereotypes in the media, when the average person thinks of domestic abuse, they most often think of a woman that resides in a lower level of society, i.e. trailer trash. This prejudiced mindset has even been perpetuated and personified via your average white t-shirt being referred to as a “wife beater.”
In looking very closely at this particular social function I easily see several facets.
First I believe that “battered women syndrome” can initially be viewed and categorized as a manifest function; overall giving