Dispelling the Myths About the "Battered Woman's Defense:" Towards a New Understanding

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Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol: 19, Issue: 3, Page: 567

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Dowd, Michael
FLASH: The Fordham Law Archive of Scholarship and History
Battered Woman's Defense; Battered Woman's Syndrome; Criminal Law Defenses; Defenses; imminence; Self-Defense; feminism; juries; Criminal Law; Law
article description
This essay explores the growth of the use of self-defense by battered women from a historical perspective in order to explain the magnitude of the prejudices these defendants face. The essay suggests that a redefinition of Battered Woman's Syndrome will ease much of the criticism from feminists and eliminate the confusion in the legal profession surrounding the use of self-defense by battered women. The essay also pushes for a redefinition of the concept of "imminence" to encompass the realities of a battered woman's life.