Battered Womens Syndrome

In: Social Issues

Submitted By andebar
Words 2818
Pages 12
Capitalism and Patriarchy’s Effect on Battered Women’s Syndrome and Abuse

Introduction
Domestic violence has existed for centuries and is still prevalent in present day society (Flowers, 1996: 131). Domestic violence generally involves violence towards women and children (Sev’er, 2007: 235).This generally includes physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional violence directed towards a spouse, girlfriend, wife, or partner (DeKeseredy, 2005: 234). One of the debates surrounding domestic violence is the legitimacy of battered women’s syndrome. There are arguments over whether or not battered woman’s syndrome is a justifiable defence or just an excuse (Fumento, 1996: 158). The aim of this paper is to justify the legitimacy of Battered Women’s Syndrome, or BWS for short. I will look at the history of violence to better understand the credibility of BWS as well as why it is discredited. I will analyze how the patriarchal capitalist society we live in affects the views regarding BWS and abuse. The purpose of this section is to understand how the patriarchal capitalist society attempts to protect male status by discrediting the validity of spousal abuse and BWS.
Definition and History
Battered women’s syndrome results from a pattern of abuse from a partner (Barnett & LaViolette, 1996: 158). Spousal abuse has had a long history, and has grown since the middle ages (Flowers, 1996: 131). Social scientist Friedrich Engels noted that spousal abuse began “with the emergence of the first monogamous pairing relationship which replaced group marriage and the extended family of early promiscuous societies” (Flowers, 1996: 131). Violence towards wives has been around since the middle Ages, and came to North America with the settlers (Hagin, 2009). Law at one point permitted the Rule of Thumb. The Rule of Thumb stated, “A husband was permitted to beat his wife so long as his…...

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