Comparative Analysis of Battered
Women in the Community With
Battered Women in Prison for Killing
Their Intimate Partners
ALBERT R. ROBERTS
Prevalence estimates of the extent of domestic violence in the United States during the past decade indicate that between 2 million and 8 million women are beaten in their homes each year (Biden, 1993; Roberts, 1998; Roberts & Roberts, 1990; Sugg & Inui, 1992; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). The battering of an intimate partner is much more widespread and prevalent than society and the general public realizes. Woman battering, also known as domestic violence, is finally being recognized as one of the greatest social and public health problems of our times, and this recognition is increasing year by year as the number of injuries and the death toll continue to climb. Several studies have found that 22% to 35% of emergency room visits were made because of symptoms or injuries related to physical abuse (Hasselt, Morrison, Bellack, & Hersen, 1988; Randall, 1990; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). According to the findings of the National Violence Against Women Survey, approximately 2 million women are battered annually in the United States and sustain injuries severe enough to warrant medical attention. Unfortunately, only an estimated 550,000 will receive any type of medical treatment annually (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). The habitual nature, escalation, self-destructive precursors, and lethality of woman battering are only beginning to be assessed.
Violent crimes against women, particularly assaults by husbands, ex-husbands, or boyfriends, are often brutal, degrading, and debilitating. The subject of woman battering has received widespread attention from the print