Self-Defense and Battered Women Who Kill: A New Framework

By Robbin S. Ogle; Susan Jacobs | Go to book overview

not be used to examine a long-term or “mega” interaction involving multiple incidents in a process. We believe that battering represents a long-term interaction where neither party sees a predictable end to the interaction and must respond to each succeeding incident based upon knowledge developed in previous incidents during this interaction. Interaction process theory and borrowed bits and pieces from the Ogle et al. (1995) theory of homicidal behavior among women form the internal or micro-level explanation of battering and battering escalation to homicide in this new theory. Ogle et al. (1995) discuss the significance of socialization of women against the use of aggression, the higher stress level of women, the lower number of coping resources possessed by women, how stress causes high chronic arousal and negative affect, and the response of normal persons to negative affect (use of coping resources to manage or end the negative feelings and strain they create). We utilize these ideas in our new theory to explain the context of the battering interaction, how it progresses, and how it escalates to lethal levels. In this respect, if battering can be seen as a long-term interaction involving multiple incidents with escalating levels of violence, it can be understood as a homicidal process requiring the victim to learn from each incident in the interaction and utilize that knowledge to survive as the interaction progresses. This allows us to argue that battered women who kill must be able to present a self-defense explanation that includes this context of the long-term interaction process rather than a single snapshot of the final incident resulting in homicide.


REFERENCES

Adams, D., J.Jackson, and M.Lauby (1988). Family violence research: Aid or obstacle to the battered women’s movement. Response,11, 14–16.

Aldarondo, E., and M.A.Straus (1994). Screening for physical violence in couple therapy: Methodological, practical, and ethical considerations. Family Process,33, 425–439.

Aldarondo, E., and D.B.Sugarman (1996). Risk marker analysis of the cessation and persistence of wife assault. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,64(5), 1010–1019.

Allen, N.H. (1983). Homicide followed by suicide: Los Angeles, 1970–1979. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior,13(3), 155–165.

Angel, M. (1996). Criminal law and women: Giving the abused woman who kills “a jury of her peers” who appreciate trifles. American Criminal Law Review,33(3), 229–348.

Bachman, R. and L.E.Saltzman (1994). Violence against women: A national crime victimization survey report (NIJ 154348). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.

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