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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 184843 Find in a Library
Title: Sisters in Pain: Battered Women Fight Back
Author(s): L. Elisabeth Beattie; Mary A. Shaughnessy
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 243
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40508-4008
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8131-2151-5
Sale Source: University Press of Kentucky
663 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40508-4008
United States of America
Type: Biography
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1995 Kentucky governor Brereton Jones granted parole hearings to 10 women who had been convicted of killing, conspiring to kill, or assaulting the men who had abused them for years; the media began referring to them as the "Sisters in Pain;" this book presents the stories of seven of these women.
Abstract: An introductory chapter reviews the prevalence of the abuse of women throughout history and across cultures, ending with an overview of the pervasiveness of domestic assault in Kentucky and the reasons why women may become trapped in an abusive relationship with few resources for breaking free of their victimization. This introductory chapter is followed by a chapter that reviews the legal history of the 10 "Sisters in Pain", whom the justice system treated as violent criminals rather than desperate, fearful victims who had used a last resort to gain psychological and physical safety. The next seven chapters present the stories of seven of the women who were part of the group known as "Sisters in Pain." The authors let these women tell their own stories through an interview format. They discuss the evolution of their abuse, the behavior and characteristics of their abusers, the psychological and physical impact of the abuse on themselves and their children, and their belief that they would never be safe as long as their abuser was alive. Their stories also expose a society that is ill-equipped to understand and respond to the needs of these women. Their stories of survival constitute a message to society about what is happening to thousands of women, calling for a response by the criminal justice system, social services, and the community so as to preclude victims having to escape violence by using violence. Appended discussions of issues related to research, reform, and the law; predictors of violence in men; and a listing of national domestic violence organizations and Kentucky spouse abuse centers; a 27-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Domestic assault prevention; Female victims; Kentucky; Offender profiles; Psychological victimization effects; Self defense; Victim profiles; Victims of violent crime
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