Carolyn Marie West is associate professor of psychology (family violence and human sexuality course), at the University of Washington Tacoma and was the first holder of the Bartley Dobb Professorship for the Study and Prevention of Violence (2005-2008 West is one of the chief ...
“Sorry, We Have to Take You In:” Black Battered Women Arrested for Intimate Partner Violence
- Citation data:
Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, ISSN: 1092-6771, Vol: 15, Issue: 3-4, Page: 95-121
- Publication Year:
- Repository URL:
- https://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/ias_pub/275; https://works.bepress.com/carolyn_west/5
- Health Professions; Psychology; Medicine
The purpose of the present effort is to examine the experiences of Black victim-defendants. To begin, an integration of both the family violence gender symmetry perspective and the contextual perspective is reviewed, with a particular focus on Black women's use of violence within heterosexual relationships. The concept of bidirectional asymmetric violence is then developed as a result of that integration. This is followed by an exploration of possible factors that may contribute to Black women's overrepresentation in the legal system, including the enactment of mandatory arrest laws. Because feminist scholars have used life histories to document the experiences of Black victim-defendants to good effect, a detailed description of the experiences of a one particular Black victim-defendant is then presented in order to provide a real-world example of such factors. Finally, strategies for advocacy and intervention are offered.