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Sue Osthoff & Holly Maguigan

In: Current Controversies on Family Violence

Chapter 14: Explaining without Pathologizing: Testimony on Battering and Its Effects

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Explaining without Pathologizing: Testimony on Battering and Its Effects
Explaining without pathologizing: Testimony on battering and its effects
SueOsthoff and HollyMaguigan

In 1978, a coalition of social scientists, trial consultants, legal workers, and attorneys formed the Women's Self-Defense Law Project in order to help attorneys provide effective representation to women who had been forced to defend themselves against violent attacks (Bochnak, 1981). That was also the year that Dr. Lenore Walker first offered expert testimony in support of a battered woman's self-defense claim (Walker, 1989). In the intervening 25 years, many advocates, researchers, and lawyers—including the authors of this chapter—have joined the effort to demonstrate what these early practitioners seemed to understand so clearly: Like others who defend themselves against imminent harm, battered women who kill ...

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