Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology Chapter Nine: Victims of Violence by

Crime Victims: An Introduction to
Seventh Edition
By Andrew Karmen
Chapter Nine:
Victims of Violence by
Lovers and Family Members
Rediscovery of Wife Beating
 Rediscovery during 1970s: “Silent Crisis”
 Historical Perspective of Problem
– Patriarchy—man’s right to discipline, home was
his castle, hands-off policy
– Moderate Correction
– Unnatural severity—Child abuse/fine or death—
Wife abuse/up to judge
Rediscovery of Wife Beating
 Learned Helplessness—“Battered Woman
 Three Phase Cycle of Domestic Violence
– Tension Building
– The Battering
– Tranquil Loving Aftermath
Incidence, Prevalence and
 Which victim-offender relationships should
be included or excluded?
 What is abuse?—injuries and attacking—
definitions clearly shape findings
 Is minor violence criminal violence?
– Lack of public consensus = normative ambiguity
Maximalist Arguments Note
 Women much more likely to be harmed by
intimate than a stranger
 Six million women “physically abused” each
 1.8 million serious assaults
 ½ of all incidents not reported to police
 Domestic violence is #1 cause of injuries for
women aged 15-44
Minimalist Arguments Note
 Only 1 in 50 women in their 20s experience
nonfatal violent offenses in a given year
 NCVS shows trends for domestic violence
– 1.1 million offenses in 1993
– 600,000 in 2001
Battered Women and CJ System
 Therapeutic Model—women not totally
innocent. Shared responsibility. Long term
approach is to strengthen bond.
 Legalistic Model—in favor since 1980s
– Separate Parties—Order of Protection
– Rescue and protect injured
– Punish and rehabilitate aggressor
– Arresting may deter future acts
Police Response
 Police Response—Minneapolis Study
– 50% of arrested offenders did not re-assault
– 26% of those forced to leave re-offended upon
– 18% of those sent to counseling re-offended in
follow up period
 Conclusion: best response was to arrest.
 Domestic Violence Arrest Without
Battered Women and CJ System
 Prosecutorial Response
– Women often manipulated into dropping
– “No drop approach”: prosecutor only
needs corroborating evidence if victim
does not testify
– If accuser fails to show up at trial, case is
typically dropped or defendant acquitted
Battered Women and CJ System
 Judicial response
 In too many cases, clear spouse abuse
cases can be lengthy trials
 Judges can order: eviction, limited visitation,
prohibition of contact
 Civil remedies are aimed at separating the
 Law enforcement does not actively enforce
civil orders
Preventing Battering
 Current responses not dealing with “root of
the problem”
– Decision-making in family flows with income
and property. Men have power—women
subordinate to them.
– Men taught to be aggressive; Women taught to
be passive and resignation.
– Rule of Patriarchy: “men rule.”
– Women must “love, honor, and obey.”
Domestic Violence
 Same-Sex Partners
– Partner violence about same as heterosexuals
 Battered Husbands
– Women attack men nearly as often as men
attack women (but less likely to cause injury)
– Victims hesitant to report—disbelief to mockery
– No access to resources for help
– Men’s ability to financially support themselves
allows them the option of leaving the relationship
Victim Provocation and Murder
 When is slaying of a wife beater
– Read Chapter examples, pages 246-247
 Victim Blaming vs. Victim Defending
Victim Provocation and Murder
 Victim Defending Arguments—siding with the dead
man, noting his provocations not significant
enough to justify his death—notes her
overreaction—leads to offender blaming that she
must be punished accordingly
– Violence went too far, should have called police, left the
home, divorce
– Women cannot be judge, jury, and executioner
– Man cannot defend himself in court—he’s dead
Victim Provocation and Murder
 Victim Blaming Arguments
– Dead husband responsible for demise—his
insults, challenges and assaults incited her
– Those who strike back were socially and
economically isolated, more severely beaten,
children abused
– Deadly force justified as it is a self-defense
– Weapon justified due to lack of strength
– Abusive man, even without weapon, is
legitimate threat to her life
Victim Provocation and Murder
 Victim-blaming most convincing when the killer:
Had been threatened or beaten repeatedly
Had been rescued in the past by police
Testifies in court
Sought marital counseling
Attempted escape
Filed for divorce
Had visible injuries from abuse at time of arrest.
Demonstrates crimes are socially defined. No act is
inherently criminal—even homicide!
Rediscovery of Other Victims
 Young Women Battered During Courtship
 Abuse of Parents by Adolescents
 Elder Abuse
 Battering Within Same-Sex Relationships
Preventing Battering
 Primary Prevention Programs
– Attempts to change attitudes of large numbers
of people—high school students
 Secondary Prevention Programs
– Intervention into lives of high risk couples
– Teaching of negotiation and anger management
Key Terms
Intimate Partners
Domestic Tranquility
Unnatural severity
Moderate correction
Rule of Thumb
Normative ambiguity
Clinical fallacy
Order of Protection
Restraining Order
Pro arrest directives
No drop
Elder abuse,
Secondary prevention
External Validity
Primary Prevention