battered women syndrome up Essay

Submitted By lpine1
Words: 2521
Pages: 11

In the United States every eight seconds a woman is abused, of these women 25 to 45% are pregnant at the time of abuse. Everyday four women are murdered by a boyfriend, ex-boyfriend or husband. These numbers are shocking and I wonder when the torture will end for these women. Women have been victims of domestic violence for centuries but it wasn’t until the 1960’s or so that the public began to take notice. What is Battered Women’s Syndrome? Battered Women’s Syndrome is considered a form of Post-traumatic Stress. Battered Women’s Syndrome is a recognized psychological condition that is used to describe someone who has been the victim of consistent and or severe domestic violence. To be classified as a battered woman, a woman has to have been through two cycles of abuse, a cycle of abuse is abuse that occurs in a repeated pattern. There are four stages of Battered Women’s Syndrome. Stage one is Denial in this stage the woman refuses to acknowledge or admit that there is a problem, she may deny the beating and refer to it as an accident. She may make up an excuse for the violence and believes that it will not happen again. The second stage called the Guilt stage occurs when a woman realizes or acknowledges that there is a problem in her relationship. She also recognizes that she has been the victim of abuse and she will most likely be beaten again. Most battered women will begin to take the blame for the beatings they receive. Battered women will begin to question their own characters and try harder to live off to their partner’s expectations. Stage three is known as the Enlightenment. This is when the women begin to understand that no one deserves to be beaten. Although she realizes that there is a problem and that there is no justification for her beatings, she will remain with her abuser in hopes that things will change in the future.
Stage four of battered women’s syndrome occurs when a battered women recognizes that her abuser has a problem only he can fix. In this stage a women decides to leave her abuser and begins to initiate a plan of action.
In the 1800’s spousal abuse was the norm and women simply had to tolerate it. In the same era a law passed giving men the right to correct or chastise their wives. Women were considered the property of their husbands and as long as husbands did not inflict permanent damage on their wives they could legally beat them. This type of behavior was passed down from generation to generation and in some cultures it is still practiced today. In Kivels book Men’s Work he states that men learn these violent behaviors early in life and if not corrected they will continue the cycle of violence. It wasn’t until the 20th century that society really began to look at domestic violence as a problem, Even though the public began to take notice there were no arrest made when the police responded to a domestic disturbance call. By the late 1980’s police began making arrest for domestic assault. This was largely due to a highly publicized case. In Thurman vs. Torrington. One of the first federal cases in which a battered woman sues the city for their police department’s failure to protect her. Tracy who remains scared and partially paralyzed charged that the Torrington police department ignored previous assaults inflicted by her husband and refused to help her from June, 1982 through October 1983 when her husband attacked her while holding their toddler son . Tracy’s husband stabbed her repeatedly about the head, neck, and chest all the while kicking and stomping her head. The police arrived at the scene and did nothing for several minutes allowing her husband to bringing her to the brink of death. Eventually Tracy’s husband was arrested and convicted and Tracy later sued the Torrington Police Department for damages which amounted to over two million dollars. This case was an eye opener to police departments around the country as well as the country itself.