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“These essays are exemplary in conceptualization, organization, and delivery. The messages are crystal clear, the readability superb. This book stands as a model of editorial excellence. The design of the volume is unique and responds well to a clear need in the subdiscipline of family violence, which remains fraught with diversity and dissention…. This piece of work is honest and effectively illuminates the growing pains of a very young and ideologically loaded subdiscipline that is anchored by an interdisciplinary and heterogeneous collection of smart people. Current Controversies on Family Violence is a powerful addition to the family violence literature. I recommend it as required reading for family violence courses. Gelles and Loseke are to be commended for their excellent idea, their ...

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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