The Battered Woman Syndrome, Fourth Edition

The Battered Woman Syndrome, Fourth Edition

by Lenore E. A. Walker EdD

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With its focus on the connection between health and mental health symptoms, this seminal, groundbreaking work continues to forge new directions in the field of domestic violence. Describing a condition that is the basis for the battered woman defense--cited in cases of physically and psychologically abused women who have killed their abusers--it continues to be used as a defense to explain premeditated assault or murder. Completely updated, the fourth edition reflects the significant changes in the field since the book was last published, incorporating Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines on health care and domestic violence and data from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study. It examines new research regarding battered women and cross-cultural and cross-national issues, and includes several new chapters addressing issues ranging from murder--suicide in domestic violence cases to proposed legislation and congressional resolutions.

The fourth edition provides new findings worldwide that reinforce the cycle theory of violence. It reflects new research on traumatic responses, and addresses trauma-informed and trauma-specific psychotherapy, interventions with youth in juvenile detention centers, information from government task forces regarding children exposed to violence and juvenile justice, and new findings regarding the application of psychology to the legal system. Entirely new to the fourth edition is a section about reforming family court and divorce presumptions. This is crucial reading for nearly all health and mental health workers who may be called upon to ask clients about experiences of domestic violence and must respond knowledgeably and effectively.

New to the Fourth Edition:

  • Fully revised and updated
  • Incorporates ACA guidelines on health care and domestic violence
  • Includes data from the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study
  • Addresses findings regarding battered women and cross-cultural and cross-national issues
  • New chapter on murder--suicide in domestic violence cases
  • New chapter on trauma treatment for victims of intimate partner violence (IPV)
  • New chapter on human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children
  • New chapter on false confessions of battered women

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826170996
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
Publication date: 10/28/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 580
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Lenore E. A. Walker, EdD, is a professor at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Psychology, where she is also a coordinator of the clinical forensic psychology doctoral concentration and director of the master's in forensic psychology program. She is also in the independent practice of forensic psychology, where she specializes in work with victims of interpersonal gender violence, particularly battered women and abused children. Dr. Walker earned her undergraduate degree in 1962 from City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College, her master of science in 1967 from CUNY City College, and her EdD in psychology in 1972 from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. In 2004, she received a postdoctoral master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology at NSU. She has been elected as a member of American Psychological Association (APA) governance since the mid-1980s, having served several terms on the APA Council of Representatives; on the board of directors; as the president of several divisions, including Division 35, the Society for the Psychology of Women, Division 42, Independent Practice, and Division 46, Media Psychology; and on boards and committees such as the Committee on Legal Issues (COLI) and the Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP).

She has worked on high-publicity (and thus high-risk) cases such as battered women who kill their abusive partners in self-defense, and has testified on behalf of protective mothers who are being challenged for custody by abusive fathers. She lectures and does training workshops all over the world about prevention, psychotherapy, legal cases, and public policy initiatives for abused women and children. Dr. Walker has authored numerous professional articles and 15 books, including The Battered Woman (1979), The Battered Woman Syndrome (1984/2000), Terrifying Love: Why Battered Women Kill and How Society Responds (1989), Abused Women and Survivor Therapy (1994), Introduction to Forensic Psychology (2004, coauthored with David Shapiro), Abortion Counseling: A Clinician's Guide to Psychology, Legislation, Politics, and Competency (2007, coauthored with Rachel Needle), First Responder's Guide to Abnormal Psychology (2007, coauthored with William Dorfman), and A Clinician's Guide to Forensic Psychology (2016, coauthored with David Shapiro).

Table of Contents




Part I: Myths and Science of Domestic Violence

1 The Battered Woman Syndrome Study Overview

2 History

3 What Is the Battered Woman Syndrome?

4 Learned Helplessness, Learned Optimism, and Battered Women

5 Descriptions of Violence and the Cycle of Violence

Part II: Interaction of Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence

6 Impact of Violence in the Home on Children

7 Child Abuse and Domestic Violence

8 Sex Trafficking of Children

9 Battered Women's Attachment Style, Sexuality, and Interpersonal Functioning

10 Murder-Suicides and Self-Defense

11 Cross-Cultural and Cross-National Issues in Domestic Violence

Part III: Intervention Strategies

12 Risk Assessment and Lethal Potential

13 Battered Women's Health Concerns

14 Mental Health Needs of Battered Women

15 Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence

16 Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy

17 Survivor Therapy Empowerment Program (STEP)

Part IV: Application of Psychology to the Legal System

18 False Confessions of Battered Women

19 Family Court, Child Custody, and Domestic Violence

20 Domestic Violence Courts and Batterers’ Treatment Programs

21 Battered Women in Criminal Court, Jail, and Prison


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