Friday, July 16, 2010



Kathleen Waits

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Mary's Story
    1. Background and Methodology
    2. Mary's Story
  3. Lessons from Mary's Story
    1. Support Counts: You Can Make a Difference in the Victim's Life
    2. Lawyers and Other Professionals Matter
    3. Attitudes Need to Change More than the Law
    4. Process Counts
    5. Do With the Battered Woman, Not To Her
    6. Any "Solution" Not Based on Battered Women's Experiences Is Doomed to Failure
    7. Batterers as Rulemakers
    8. How Physical and Non-Physical Abuse Work Together: Why Do We See It as Torture When Argentinean Generals Do It, But Not When It's the Guy Next Door?
    9. Mary Did Not Display "Battered Women's Syndrome"; "Battered Women as Survivor" Is A Better Explanation of Mary's Responses
  4. Questions -- Skeptical and Otherwise -- About Mary's Story
    1. Is Mary a "Typical" Battered Woman?
    2. Is Russ a "Typical" Batterer?
    3. Haven't Things Changed a Lot: Would Mary's Story Happen Today?
    4. Isn't This Story Just About a Few Bad Apples?
    5. Why Should I Believe Mary's Story?
    6. Do You Hear What I Hear? The Danger of Telling Stories
  5. Conclusion: Why We Must Keep Telling Stories

APPENDIX A. What to Say (and Not to Say) to a Battered Woman

APPENDIX B. Methods of Coercion

APPENDIX C. Personalized Safety Plan

APPENDIX D. Power and Control Wheel

Author's Note


I. Introduction

The statistics are horrifying. Women are brutalized, terrorized, and murdered by intimate partners every day.[1] To make matters worse, battered women are often victimized a second time by police, prosecutors, lawyers, psychologists, and judges. [2] Batterers often seek and receive custody of children [3] even though they often abuse children as well as women. [4] While society and the legal system have improved their attitudes toward domestic violence, [5] we still have a long way to go.

And yet the statistics cannot tell the whole story. They are too abstract and impersonal. The sheer magnitude of the numbers can desensitize us. Domestic violence is so widespread, we can easily become numb to the human suffering behind the statistics.

Telling individual women's stories is one way to address this dilemma. Stories touch our feelings in a way that statistics cannot. [6] Stories can also spur us to action when statistics only depress us. [7]

And so, I have decided to tell the story of one woman, a woman I will call "Mary." [8]

After telling Mary's story, I discuss in Part III some lessons that can be learned from what she experienced. In Part IV, I then address some questions that might be raised by her story, including whether Mary's story is credible and whether Mary is a "typical" battered woman.

WordPress Tags: WOMEN,CHILDREN,LESSONS,FROM,WOMAN,STORY,Table,Contents,Introduction,Mary,Background,Methodology,Support,Make,Difference,Victim,Life,Matter,Change,Solution,Failure,Batterers,Rulemakers,Physical,Abuse,Work,Together,Torture,Argentinean,Generals,Door,Display,Syndrome,Survivor,Better,Explanation,Skeptical,Otherwise,About,Typical,Russ,Batterer,Haven,Happen,Just,Apples,Should,Believe,Hear,Danger,Conclusion,Keep,APPENDIX,Coercion,Plan,Power,Control,Wheel,Author,Note,statistics,partners,judges,custody,system,violence,magnitude,numbers,Domestic,human,dilemma,feelings,action,Part,Lawyers,Attitudes,Responses,Methods,Footnotes,whether

No comments: