Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Troubled MarriageDomestic Violence and the Legal System$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Leigh Goodmark

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814732229

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814732229.001.0001

Show Summary Details

(p.54) 3 Deconstructing the Victim

(p.54) 3 Deconstructing the Victim

(p.54) 3 Deconstructing the Victim
A Troubled Marriage

Leigh Goodmark

NYU Press

This chapter examines the stereotypes of women that currently pervade the legal system and their implications for women subjected to abuse who seek the system's assistance. It begins with an overview of images of victims of domestic violence prior to the rise of the battered women's movement. It then outlines the construction of the paradigmatic victim, a construction informed by Lenore Walker's theory of learned helplessness based on her book, The Battered Woman, and enshrined in the law through battered woman syndrome. It also considers an alternative theory intended to explain the behavior of women subjected to abuse: the survivor theory developed by sociologists Edward Gondolf and Ellen Fisher. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the consequences of the failure to conform to the passivity stereotype for women subjected to abuse.

Keywords:   stereotypes, domestic violence, battered women, Lenore Walker, theory of learned helplessness, battered woman syndrome, survivor theory, Edward Gondolf, Ellen Fisher, passivity

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.