Domestic Violence And The Criminal Justice System. Report One 800 Words Question: What Assumptions Are Made About The Nature Of Domestic Violence When Asking 'Why Doesn't She Leave'? This report is divided into three sections regarding assumptions. The first section deals with reviewing two major theories, 'The Stockholm Syndrome' and 'The Battered Womans Syndrome'. The second section looks at the significance of social class; race and culture while the latter will regard the 'wider's ocial assumptions. STOCKHOLM SYNDROME It is assumed it is easy to leave.
The Stockholm syndrome is derived from a bank robbery where hostages developed a fondness for their captors. Similar psychological processes drawn between battered women and their abusers. Characteristics are a consequence of being in life threatening relationships. (Graham et al, 1998) cited in (Yllo & Bograd, 1998: 218) Unequal power relations between the two can lead to emotional bonding (ibid) Mistreatment followed by kindness reinforces the bond.
Walker (1979) cited in (Brane & La Violette, 1993: 84) Display of kindness gives women hope thus: she denies the 'alternative' fearful side of the abuser. (Browne 1987 cited in ibid) CRITICISMS Does not define reasons why men are captors whilst women primarily held in hostage position and fails to recognise the social context of women's lives as oppression is viewed from internalized psychological traits. (op. cit: 1998: 218) Miller (1978) cited in (ibid: 223, 224) argues that in inequitable relationships subordinates concentrate on survival.
They become accustomed to the pleasure / displeasure response of dominants and develop characteristics ie: passitivity, dependency etd that is agreeable to the dominant. LEARNED HELPLESSNESS/ BATTERED WOMENS SYNDROME Attempts to explain why women stay with violent partners and why they become victims of brutality. (Dobash & Dobash, 1992: 25) Deborah Kelly Student Number: 999002203 Women experiencing learned helplessness described as suffering from 'battered woman syndrome'. (ibid; 227) Early conditioning in women's lives 'attach' them to 'cycle of violence'. Three repetitive stages of cycle - tension building and eruption followed by a calm period.
As woman engages in cycle, she becomes an accomplice to her attacks. (ibid: 226) A depressive syndrome - after continues frustration they give up hope. Walker (1997) cited in (Stark & Flit craft, 1996: 148) They view leaving as pointless and fear it would provoke additional violence. Blackman (1989: 116-117) cited in (Tifft, 1993: 66) Feelings of helplessness prevent women from seeking help from formal / informal sources. (op. Cit: 1992: 225) Victimisation that has been clinically defined ie: learned helplessness and co-dependency can reinforce the batterer's perspectives - i.
e: a woman should know her place. Pence (1985: 6) cited in (op. Cit 1993: 94) SOCIAL CLASS, RACE AND CULTURE Can play a significant part in women choosing not to leave their abusers. It is not uncommon, particularly for middle class women to feel reluctant to seek help and have an aversion to refuges. (Glass, 195: 143) Mooney (1994) discovered that a percentage of men who admitted using violence did not differ appreciably by class. Cited from (Mayhew et al, 1993, Women's Aid) Racism has an additional impact of violence for African American battered women thus: loyalty to their culture, gender roles and men influenced them.
(Richie, 1996: 158) One woman in therapy admitted her husband beat her but confirmed 'The Christian ethic is that you stay married forever'. (Caplan, 1989: 146) Negative stereotypical images can influence women to stay - idea that 'only bad girls get hurt' has an impact on women staying quiet. Stank o (1985) cited in (McWilliams & McKiernan, 1993: 14) Impact of popular culture- i. e films like 'Gone with the Wind'- belief that men cannot live without women, need to be constantly with them etc. This devotion could be 'superficial' mask for controlling and domineering violence. (op.
Cit: 1995: 128) 'WIDER's OCIAL ASSUMPTIONS Fear of rejection from 'helping' professions. Some suggest that the woman change her behaviour offering reconciliation therapy etc. (op. Cit: 1992: 232) Suspicious of admitting being in a violent relationship incase professional services remove the children. Deborah Kelly Student Number: 999002203 It is assumed that women are able to leave. Woman not 'fully' protected by legal system - until 1990, in Britain, the law failed to recognise that a woman could be raped by her husband.
Maynard cited in (Richardson & Robinson, 1993: 102) Historically men have legally been allowed to discipline wives. (Hague & Marlow, 1998: 50) Research in the USA showed women choose to stay with violent partners because of threat of murder if they leave. (Browne 1982, Marzmuk et al 1992) cited in (op. Cit: 1993: 15) It is assumed women will be safe if they leave. Greater number of women murdered in early months after break-up than any other time. (op.
Cit 1993: 150) Isolation - 70% of women who left violent partners returned due to feelings of loneliness. Turner & Shapiro (1986) cited in (op. Cit: 1993: 20) Society holds strong perceptions of what is 'feminine' behaviour i. e. gentle and nurturing etc. Women accused of inciting domestic violence by behaving in a way that causes it i.
e. nagging, being too extravagant / talkative . Dobash & Dobash (1980) cited in (op. Cit: 1993: 110) It is assumed that women do not leave. They do leave but are bound by economic, social and cultural constrains as well as concerns for her own and her childrens safety. (Glass, D.
! 995: 157) CONCLUSION The assumptions reviewed above connect with the fact that whether 'theoretical' or 'social' there is still a 'blame the victim' flavour to them. BIBLIOGRAPHY Barnett, O & LaViolett, A. (1193) It Could Happen To Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay, London: Sage. Caplan, P. J.
(1989) Women's Masochism: The Myth Destroyed, London: Mandarin Paperbacks - Imprint of Octopus Publishing Group. Dobash, R & Dobash R. (1992) Women, Violence and Social Change, London, Routledge. Glass, D. (1995) "All My Fault: Why Women Don't Leave Abusive Men, London: Virago. Graham, P.
Rawlings, E. & Rimini, W. (1998) 'Survivors of Terror: Battered Women, Hostages and The Stockholm Syndrome' in K. Yllo & M. Bograd (eds) Feminist Perspectives On Wife Abuse, London: sage. Deborah Kelly Student Number: 999002203 Hague, E & Males, G.
(1998) Domestic Violence: Action For Change, 2 nd ed, Cheltenham: New Clarion Press. Maynard, M. (1993) 'Violence Towards Women' in D. Richardson & V. Robinson (eds) Introducing Women's Studies, London: MacMillan. McWilliams, M & McKiernan, J.
(1993) Bringing It Out in the Open: Domestic Violence in Northern Ireland, London: HMSO. Richie, B (1996) Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment Of Black battered Women, London: Routledge. Stark, E. & Fil craft, A. (1996) Women At Risk: Domestic Violence and Women's Health, London: Sage. Tifft, L.
(1993) Battering Of Women: The failure of Intervention and the case for Prevention. Oxford: Westview Press. Mayhew, et al. (1993) Womens Aid Federation, England. web 22/06/01.