Domestic Abuse

The Pariah of the Legal System
  • Patricia L. Micklow


Over the centuries, women and children have silently endured severe physical mistreatment at the hands of husbands, fathers, and other family members. Crimes of assault, rape, incest, and murder have been perpetrated against the weaker members of the family. Within a patriarchal legal system designed to adjudicate disputes between equals, the complaints of these disadvantaged members of society have often not been recognized. Traditionally regarded as property, they have been deprived of legal protection in the home and instead admonished to “obey” their husbands and fathers. It is illustrative of the powerlessness of their legal status that the first child protection requiring mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect was not adopted until 1963 and that no domestic abuse statutes were in effect in the United States prior to 1975.


Child Sexual Abuse Criminal Justice System Battered Woman Expert Testimony Domestic Abuse 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Acker, J. R., and Toch, H. ( 1985, March/April). Battered women, straw men, and expert testimony: A comment on State v Kelly. Criminal Law Bulletin, 21, 125.Google Scholar
  2. Ahlgren, C. A. (1983–84). Maintaining incest victims, support relationships. Journal of Family Law, 22, 483.Google Scholar
  3. Alderman, M. (1979). Child abuse and neglect: State reporting laws (DHHS Publication No. OHDS 80–30265 ). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  4. Areen, J. (1975). Intervention between parent and child: A reappraisal of the state,s role in child neglect and abuse cases. The Georgetown Law Journal, 63, 887.Google Scholar
  5. Barry, S. (1980, September). Spousal rape: The uncommon law. American Bar Association Journal, 66, 1088.Google Scholar
  6. Blackstone, W. (1899). Commentaries on the laws of England ( 3rd ed. ). Albany, NY: Banks.Google Scholar
  7. Bradley v. State. 2 Miss. (Walker) 156 (1824).Google Scholar
  8. Brodie, D. W. (1972). Privacy: The family and the state. Law Forum, 4, 743.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, B. A, Emerson, T. I., Falk, G., and Freedman, A. E. (1971). The equal rights amendment. Yale Law Journal, 5, 871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buhrle v. State. 627 P.2d 1374 (Wy. 1981 ).Google Scholar
  11. Bulkey, J. (Ed.). (1983a, January). Innovations in the prosecution of child sexual abuse cases ( 3rd ed. ). Washington, DC: American Bar Association, National Legal Resource Center for Child Advocacy and Protection.Google Scholar
  12. Bulkey, J. (Ed.). (1983b, April). Child sexual abuse and the law ( 4th ed. ). Washington DC: American Bar Association, National Legal Resource Center for Child Advocacy and Protection.Google Scholar
  13. Bulkey, J. ( 1982, October). Recommendations for improving legal intervention in intra-family child sexual abuse cases. Washington, DC: American Bar Association, National Legal Resource Center for Child Advocacy and Protection.Google Scholar
  14. California Child Abuse Reporting Act, Cal. Penal Code, Sec. 11165–66 (West Supp. 1984 );Google Scholar
  15. California Child Abuse Reporting Act, Cal. Penal Code, Sec.11167–74 (West 1982 ).Google Scholar
  16. California Penal Code, Section 11171(b) (West 1982).Google Scholar
  17. Cavanagh, B. K. (1971). “A little dearer than his horse”: Legal stereotypes and the feminine personality. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, 6, 260.Google Scholar
  18. Colorado Revised Statues, Sec. 13–25–129 (1983).Google Scholar
  19. Comment, The battered wife,s dilemma: Kill or be killed. (1981). Hastings Law Review, 32, 895.Google Scholar
  20. Comment, Self-defense: Battered woman syndrome on trial. (1984). California Western Law Review, 20, 485.Google Scholar
  21. Comment, Vanishing exception to the psychotherapist-patient privilege: The child abuse reporting act. (1984). Pacific Law Journal, 16, 335.Google Scholar
  22. Commonwealth v. Chretian, 417 N.E.2d 1203 (Ma. 1981 ).Google Scholar
  23. Commonwealth v. Schilling, 431 A.2d 1088 ( Pa. Super. 1981 ).Google Scholar
  24. Davidson, K. M., Ginsburg, R. B., and Kay, H. H. (1974). Text, cases and materials on sex-based discrimination. St. Paul, MN: West.Google Scholar
  25. Eisenberg, S. E., and Micklow, P. L. ( 1977, Spring/Summer). The assaulted wife: “Catch 22” revisited. Women,s Rights Law Reporter, 3, 138.Google Scholar
  26. Ellis, J. W. ( 1984, Spring). Prosecutorial discretion to charge in cases of spousal assault: A dialogue. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 75, 56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Finkelhor, D. (1984). Child sexual abuse: New theory and research. New York: The Free Press. Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U. S. 677 (1973).Google Scholar
  28. Fulgham v. State, 46 Ala. 143 (1871).Google Scholar
  29. Globe Newspaper Company v. Superior Court for the County of Norfolk, 457 U.S. 596, (1982).Google Scholar
  30. Hale, Sir Matthew (1778). History of the pleas of the common Crown (Vols. 1 and 2 ). London: Sollom Emlyn of Lincoln,s Inn, Esq.Google Scholar
  31. Hawthorne v. State, 408 So2d 801 ( F11. Dist. Ct. App. 1982 ).Google Scholar
  32. Ibn-Tamas v. United States, 455 A2d 893 (DC, 1983 ).Google Scholar
  33. Idaho Code, Sec. 16–1628(j) (Supp. 1974 ).Google Scholar
  34. Johnson v. State, 21 Tenn. 183 (1841).Google Scholar
  35. Kanowitz, L. (1969). Women and the law: The unfinished revolution. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  36. Kansas Statutes Annotated, Sec. 60–640(dd) (1983).Google Scholar
  37. Kizer v. Commonwealth, 321 S.E.2d 291 (VA. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  38. Landau, H. R., Salus, M. K., and Stiffarm, T. (1980, May). Child protection: The role of the courts (DHHS Publication No. (OHDS) 80–30256 ). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  39. Landeros v. Flood, 50 Cal. App. 3d 189 (1975).Google Scholar
  40. Langley, R., and Levy, R. C. (1977). Wife beating: The silent crisis. New York: E. P. Dutton.Google Scholar
  41. Lerman, L. G. ( 1981, January/February). Criminal prosecution of wife beaters. Response, 4(3), 1–20.Google Scholar
  42. Lerman, L. G. (1984). A model state act: Remedies for domestic abuse. Harvard Journal on Legislation, 21, 61.Google Scholar
  43. Lerman, L. G., and Livingstone, F. ( 1983, September/October). State legislation on domestic violence. Response, 6 (5), 1–28.Google Scholar
  44. Marital rape exemption in the criminal law. ( 1980, October). Clearinghouse Review, 538.Google Scholar
  45. Martin, D. (1976). Battered wives. San Francisco: Glide.Google Scholar
  46. Model Penal Code (1962). Section 213.1(1). American Law Institute.Google Scholar
  47. Monell v. New York City Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978).Google Scholar
  48. New York Laws 1261, Ch. 547, Art. I, Sec. 2(4) (f) (McKinney, 1922 ).Google Scholar
  49. New York Laws 3066, Ch. 686, Art. III, Sec. 312(a) (McKinney 1922 ).Google Scholar
  50. Note, Defendant v. Witness: Measuring confrontation and compulsory process rights against statutory communications privileges (1978). Stanford Law Review, 30, 935.Google Scholar
  51. Note, The battering parent syndrome: Inexpert testimony as character evidence. (1984), Spring. University of Michigan Journal of Legal Reform, 17, 653.Google Scholar
  52. Note, The psychotherapist-patient privilege, the child abuse exception, and the protection of privacy through the Fifth Amendment. (1984). Whittier Law Review, 6, 1033.Google Scholar
  53. Notes and Comments, The sexually abused infant hearsay exception: A constitutional analysis. (1984). Journal of Juvenile Law, 8, 59.Google Scholar
  54. Notes, A tender years doctrine for the juvenile courts: An effective way to protect the sexually abused child. (1984). Journal of Urban Law, 61, 249.Google Scholar
  55. Ohio v. Roberts, 448 U.S. 56 (1980).Google Scholar
  56. Pastoor, M. K. (1984). Police training and the effectiveness of Minnesota “domestic abuse” laws. Law and Inequality, 2, 557.Google Scholar
  57. People v. Brown, 632 P.2d 1025 (Colo. 1981 ).Google Scholar
  58. People v. Liberta, 474 N.E.2d 567 (N. Y. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  59. People v. Stritzinger, 668 P.2d 738 ( CA. Sup. Ct. 1983 ).Google Scholar
  60. Prosser, W. L. (1971). Handbook of the law of torts ( 4th ed. ). St. Paul, MN: West.Google Scholar
  61. Recent development, The expert as educator: A proposed approach to the use of battered woman syndrome expert testimony. (1982). Vanderbilt Law Review, 35, 741.Google Scholar
  62. Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971).Google Scholar
  63. Rossman, G. (1925). Parens patriae. Oregon Law Review, 4, 233.Google Scholar
  64. Roy, M. (1977). Battered woman. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  65. Rozell v. State, 502 S.W.2d 16 (Tex. Crim., 1973 ).Google Scholar
  66. Sherman, L. W., and Berk, R. A. (1984). The Specific effects arrest for domestic assault, American Sociological Review, 49, 261.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Skoler, G. (1984). New hearsay exceptions for a child,s statement of sexual abuse. The John Marshall Law Review, 18, 1.Google Scholar
  68. Silberman, C. E. (1978). Criminal violence, criminal justice. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  69. Smith v. State, 277 S.E.2d 678 ( Ga. Sup. Ct. 1981 ).Google Scholar
  70. Sorichetti v. New York, No. 304 (N. Y. Ct. App., July 9, 1985).Google Scholar
  71. Stallone, D. R. (1984). Decriminalization of violence in the home: Mediation in wife battering cases. Law and Inequality, 2, 493.Google Scholar
  72. State v. Allery, 682 P.2d 312 (Wash. en banc, 1984 ).Google Scholar
  73. State v. Anaya, 438 A.2d 892 (Me. 1981)Google Scholar
  74. State v. Aronhalt, 526 P.2d 463 (Or App, 1974 ).Google Scholar
  75. State v. Baker, 424 A.2d 171 (NH, 1980 ).Google Scholar
  76. State v. Drope, 462 S.W.2d 677 (Mo App, 1971 ).Google Scholar
  77. State v. Green, 652 P.2d 697 (Ks. 1982 ).Google Scholar
  78. State v. Kelly, 478 A.2d 364 (N. J. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  79. State v. Kennedy, 616 P.2d 594 (Utah, 1980 ).Google Scholar
  80. State v. Martin, 666 S.W.2d 895 (Mo. App. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  81. State v. Martin, 194 S.E.2d 60, cert den 195 S.E.2d 691 (NC App, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  82. State v. McCafferty, 356 N.W.2d 159 (S.E. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  83. State v. Myatt, 697 P.2d 836 (Kan. 1985 ).Google Scholar
  84. State v. Pendelton, 690 P.2d 959 (Kan. App. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  85. State v. Pratt, 233 So.2d 883 (LA, 1970 ).Google Scholar
  86. State v. Ryan, 691 P.2d 197 ( WA. Sup. Ct., 1984 ).Google Scholar
  87. State v. (J.) Smith, 227 S.E.2d 678 (Sup. Ct. GA, 1981 ).Google Scholar
  88. State v. Smith, 426 A.2d 38 ( N.J. Sup. Ct. 1981 ).Google Scholar
  89. State v. Thomas, 423 N.E.2d 137 (OH, 1981 ).Google Scholar
  90. Stedman, B. (1917). The right of husbands to chastise wife. Virginia Law Register, 3, 241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. ten Broek, J. (1964). California,s dual system of family law: Its origin, development and present status (part I). Stanford Law Review, 16, 257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Thompson, M. L. (1984). Civil suit: An abused child,s only protection. Probate Law Journal, 6, 85.Google Scholar
  93. Thurman v. City of Torrington, 595 F. Supp. 1521 (D. Conn. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  94. United States v. Benfield, 593 F.2d 815 (8th Cri. 1979 ).Google Scholar
  95. United States Code, Title 42, Sec. 1983 (1968).Google Scholar
  96. Utah Code Annotated, Sec. 76–5–411 (1983).Google Scholar
  97. Wash. Rev. Code Ann., Sec. 9A.44.120 (West Supp. 1984 ).Google Scholar
  98. Weisberg, R., and Wald, M. ( 1984, Summer). Confidentiality laws and state efforts to protect abused or neglected children: The need for statutory reform. Family Law Quarterly, 18 (2), 143.Google Scholar
  99. Woods, L. (1981). Litigation on behalf of battered women. Women,s Rights Law Reporter, 7, 39.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia L. Micklow
    • 1
  1. 1.Marquette CountyUSA

Personalised recommendations