College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Battered women, psychology and public policy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1984

Publication Title

American Psychologist

ISSN

0003-066X

Volume

39

Issue/No.

10

Abstract

Reviews the role that psychologists have played in affecting changes in public policy regarding domestic violence over the past decade. Testimony by expert witnesses has rebutted myths that prevented battered women who killed their abusers from receiving fair trials. Three case vignettes are presented to illustrate how psychological knowledge has helped the judicial system to develop public policy. Because organized psychology has submitted amicus curiae briefs in this area, appellate court cases now usually support the admissibility of a psychologist's testimony as to the battered woman's perception of danger and the reasonableness of her perception of the need for self-defense. The public impact of high-visibility battered women cases is discussed.

DOI

10.1037/0003-066X.39.10.1178

Peer Reviewed

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