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NCJ Number: 134282 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Prosecution as a Victim Power Resource: A Note on Empowering Women in Violent Conjugal Relationships
Journal: Law and Society Review  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:(1991)  Pages:313-334
Author(s): D A Ford
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH15161-13
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Theory on exchange and power processes is examined to explain the conditions of victim empowerment and is applied to cases of abused women who filed and later dropped charges against their conjugal partners to show how filing and dropping charges can be a rational power strategy for determining the future course of a relationship.
Abstract: Exchange theorists argue that interpersonal power and dependency are functions of the exchange processes governing social interaction. Following this approach, power theorists consider a person's resources to be whatever one person uses to influence another person. Interviews with 25 battered women who filed charges against their mates in Marion County (Ind.) in 1981 showed how prosecution of an abusive spouse could be a power resource. Findings also indicated that if battered women are forced to prosecute, or if the government reduces victim discretion in the prosecution process, then victims of spouse abuse may be disempowered by being denied the leverage they have when the choice rests with them. Figure, table, footnotes, 1 law citation, and 68 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Battered wives; Victims rights
Index Term(s): Battered women programs; Prosecutorial discretion; Victim services; Victim-offender relationships
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