This article addresses the many factors that play into why women, who suffer from battered women syndrome, do not leave their husbands or the person who is abusing them. Before we discuss the contents of this article a battered women syndrome is “the set of symptoms, injuries, and signs of mistreatment seen in a woman who has been repeatedly abused by a husband or other male figure”. This article is divided into two parts where part one focuses on external inhibiting factors within in society such as, economics and the criminal justice system (CJS) that influences battered women’s stay/leave decisions.

The article states that “of all the possible reasons why battered women do not leave abusive men, CJS practices probably rank second only to economic dependency”. The author first explains how patriarchal and sexist structure of society makes it even harder for battered women to leave their Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). “O’Neil and Nadeau have defined patriarchy as “the supremacy of the father over family members and the domination of men over women and children in every aspect of life”.

They defined sexism as the “social, political and person expression of patriarchy”. ” These structures are like the norms of society and it makes a batter’s decision even harder. This article then goes into detail of numerous reasons why the criminal justice system practices is one of the top reasons why battered women do not leave their husbands. The author list some of these reason in this article “a) confusion about the court system, b) frustration with the criminal justice system (e. g. slowness, fear triggered by lack of action, lack of contact with the court), c) conflict over batterer incarceration, and d) views of the criminal justice system as racist and oppressive” This article suggests that the CJS propose more funding for domestic assault response teams (DARTs) “which consist of judges, prosecutors, police, probations officers, advocates and professional batterer counselors trained in the problems of IPV” and also a “different type of response team consists of crisis counseling by victims’ services”.

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Constructive Critique This article was written in a very organized way where the author first explains what the causes of battered women syndrome are and then the author explains how the norms of society is one of the main effects of why men abuse their wives which is the main cause of battered women syndrome. This gives a reader of sense of what started off this issue in the first place and then the articles goes into main specific areas that it will focus on. This has really made this article very interesting and easy to read.

This article made some very good points on how the CJS affects the decisions of battered women. Each point was elaborated very well and was referenced by real life scenarios. Most of the author’s points were backed up by statistics which was also another good point. Some of the statistics the author brought up were from records of other countries like Jordan and Fiji which shows that this isn’t just an issue in the U. S but it’s a worldwide issue. The best thing about this article would be the author’s implications for policy, research and practice.

She suggests a lot good ideas and also makes very good points such as “world organizations that have traditionally championed human rights should recognize the inhumane treatment of women as a human rights issue and take action to eliminate it”. Overall this article was very easy to comprehend, made very good points, elaborations were on point, actually made this subject very interesting, and also made some good reforms on ways that the society and especially the CJS can help battered women leave and become better women.

Barnett, Ola W (2000). Why Battered Women Do Not Leave, Part 1. Trauma, Violence and Abuse.343-345, 349-361


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