Battered Wife Syndrome

1487 WordsFeb 2, 20136 Pages
Abuse continues to be a significant problem nationwide, shattering the lives of many. It is hard to imagine the domination that the abuser exercises over the abused, the danger that they feel, and the violence and fear that traumatise them. Violence is not a private matter. One cannot draw the curtains and forgive and forget, society must intervene and offer help and comfort. However, sometimes the help offered can be inadequate and illogical. Battered wife syndrome (a condition created by sustained physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, which creates a variety of physical and emotional symptoms) has been used as a defence in murder cases in which women have killed or harmed their abuser. Although expert testimony regarding battered…show more content…
However this self-defence does not warrant in death or critical injuries. There are almost always non-violent routes one can take and in the case of abuse there are many options, such as using the law to ones advantage, taking up residence in a safe house and calling for help. It may not be easy to find the courage to leave but if one has been able to survive the detrimental effects of abuse, then one can have the audacity to leave. Options that harm people become morally unacceptable when less harmful options exist. Murder can never be morally permissible. It can be excused, but not justified. There is an extreme difference. If we ever allow murder to be morally permissible, we violate the most basic right, the right to life. The respect of human life achieves morality, while using deadly, deliberate force against repeated cruelty does not. Although the abuse victim may be robbed of liberty and happiness, they still have the opportunity to regain it because they are alive. Life provides the opportunity to exercise all other rights, and therefore, it is more valuable than all other rights. A victim’s use of deadly force would therefore be disproportionate and morally impermissible as the victim becomes everything they are hiding from. If violence begets violence, it is only a matter of time before civilized society distils down into anarchy. The battered wife
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