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A Troubled Marriage

Domestic Violence and the Legal System

Leigh Goodmark, 0, 0

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: NYU Press

Cover, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. cover-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

For the past two years, I have had the luxury of thinking and writing about the issues that I care about passionately. I have a great many people to thank for that opportunity. Deborah Gershenowitz, Gabrielle Begue, and NYU Press gave me the chance to do something I have always wanted to do. I am grateful for the opportunity and for their support of this project. Dean Phil Closius and the University of Baltimore School of Law have consistently provided me with what I needed ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

The telephone rings. Your daughter—or sister, or friend—is on the other end, describing how her partner abused her and asking for your advice. What would you tell her? To call the police, press charges, seek a protective order or divorce? The chances are good that one of the options that immediately came to mind involved the legal system. Even if your initial response ...

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1 Developing the Legal Response

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pp. 9-28

In 1970, if your husband slapped, punched, kicked, or otherwise hurt you in some way, you had little recourse. You could call the police, but if they responded, they were likely to tell your spouse to take a walk around the block to cool down. Arrest was rare, particularly in the absence of lifethreatening injury or if the assault happened out of the sight of the responding officers (as it usually did). In the unlikely event that your husband ...

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2 Defining Domestic Violence

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pp. 29-53

Patricia Connors1 was a vibrant, assertive, confident woman when she met and married Bruce Connors. In the early years of their relationship, Patricia and Bruce worked together to achieve the financial stability that would allow them to start a family, pooling their money in a joint checking account. They cooked together and socialized together. After their two children were born, however, Bruce’s behavior toward his wife began to change. He required his wife ...

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3 Deconstructing the Victim

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pp. 54-79

Valoree Day was not a victim of domestic violence. Day’s boyfriend, Steve Brown, repeatedly assaulted her, causing bruises, black eyes, swelling, bite marks, and welts. Brown punched Day in the face, causing a voluminous nosebleed and cut lip, spattering her clothing with blood. Brown attempted to strangle Day early in their relationship. He tried to run Day over with his car. Brown threw a boulder at Day’s car as she drove to work. Brown repeatedly threatened to harm Day over the course of their relationship and heaped ...

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4 Separation

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pp. 80-105

Dixie Shanahan did not have to kill her husband, according to Susan Christensen. Shanahan shot her husband Scott after enduring 19 years of abuse, including black eyes, bruises, threats, being dragged by her hair, held at gunpoint, tied up and left in a basement for days, and regular verbal abuse and degradation in front of family and friends. Shanahan shot her husband after a morning of being beaten, after being threatened at gunpoint, after her husband promised, “This day is not over yet. I will kill you.” At her murder trial, Shanahan testified that she shot her husband because she ...

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5 Mandatory Interventions

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pp. 106-135

Dixie Shanahan did not have to kill her husband, according to Susan Christensen. Shanahan shot her husband Scott after enduring 19 years of abuse, including black eyes, bruises, threats, being dragged by her hair, held at gunpoint, tied up and left in a basement for days, and regular verbal abuse and degradation in front of family and friends. Shanahan shot her husband after a morning of being beaten, after being threatened at gunpoint, after her husband promised, “This day is not over yet. I will kill you.” At her murder trial, Shanahan testified that she shot her husband because she ...

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6 Reframing Domestic Violence Law and Policy: Anti-Essentialist Principles

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pp. 136-159

Patricia Connors, Valoree Day, Sharwline Nicholson, Dixie Shanahan, Jessica (Gonzales) Lenahan, Noelle Mowatt, Meredith Bell, Mrs. Jefferson, Linda Williams, and countless other women have been poorly served by the legal system’s response to domestic violence. These failures can, in large part, be explained by the dominance feminist underpinnings of the current

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7 A Reconstructed Legal System

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pp. 160-177

The night of June 23, 2010, was cool and clear. Karen Anderson and her boyfriend, Corbin Jones, decided to open the windows to let the air into the apartment they shared with their son, Daniel, who was seven. Around 10:00 that evening, Corbin began teasing Karen about her Facebook use and insisted upon seeing her friends list. The playful teasing turned to an abusive outburst, however, when Corbin found that Karen’s ex-boyfriend was ...

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8 Beyond the Law

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pp. 178-198

Reconstructing the legal response to domestic violence will make the legal system a more viable alternative for many women. For other women, however, redress from within the justice system will continue to prove elusive, because the justice system cannot provide them with what they need or because they are unwilling to invite state intervention into their lives. Those women need a remedy beyond the law. Justice beyond the justice system, economic stability, meaningful engagement ...

Notes

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pp. 199-224

Bibliography

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pp. 225-244

Index

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pp. 245-253

About the Author

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p. 254-254


E-ISBN-13: 9780814733431
E-ISBN-10: 0814733433
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814732229
Print-ISBN-10: 0814732224

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2011

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Subject Headings

  • Justice, Administration of -- United States.
  • Family violence -- Law and legislation -- United States.
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