College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Politics, Psychology and the Battered Woman's Movement

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2002

Keywords

Abuse, Battering, Battered Women, Domestic Violence, Family Violence, Feminism, Politics of Psychology, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Self-Defense, Social Reform, Survivor Therapy, Women Advocates, Trauma, Traumatology, Violence, Wife-Abuse, Wife-Beating

Publication Title

Journal of Trauma Practice

ISSN

1536-2922

Volume

1

Issue/No.

1

Abstract

The recent history of the battered woman's movement is an interesting study in social science politics. Wife-beating never actually held center stage in social reformation movements until the effort over the last three decades that emphasized changing the power relationship between women and men to one of equality. Professionals in the battered woman's movement are often viewed as having little concern about changing the patriarchal structure of society by grassroots advocates, who in turn are often viewed by professionals as zealots without adequate mental health training. Feminist advocates have fought to keep the structure of the battered woman's shelter consistent with a philosophy of working toward equality between women and men as well as protecting women and children from men's violence. To date, it has been very successful in the latter goal but less so in changing societal norms. After almost 30 years of studying domestic violence, there are still major separations between professionals who study child abuse and those who study battered women and rape victims, and between professionals and grass roots advocates. We must continue to work together to try to find the solutions to eradicate violence from our lives.

Comments

Journal currently known as Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma (1900 - current), ISSN: 1092-6771 (Print)

DOI

10.1300/J189v01n01_05