Family Homicide

When Victimized Women Kill
  • Angela Browne

Abstract

A woman calls the police emergency number, begging for help. She says she just shot her husband. Officers who arrive at the scene note that she is bruised and there is some evidence of an altercation. While ambulance attendants work on the dying man, police locate the weapon and test the woman’s hands for traces of gunpowder. They wrap her hands in plastic and lead her to a squad car, threading their way around neighbors gathered on the sidewalk. The woman is taken to jail, where she is interrogated about what happened. She attempts to reply to the officers’ questioning, although her responses are disoriented and confused and she will later remember little of what she said. At some point, she is informed that her husband is dead. She is asked to strip to the waist so that pictures can be taken of her injuries and is booked on suspicion of first degree murder. Later testimony reveals that she had been beaten and sexually assaulted by her mate for several years, and that he threatened to kill her shortly before the shooting took place. In recent months, she made several attempts to get help. She has no prior criminal record; she has a family, and has held a steady job.

Keywords

Sexual Assault Family Violence Battered Woman Abuse Woman Abusive Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Browne
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Violence Laboratory, Horton Social Science CenterUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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