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Battered Women In The Courtroom : The Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law - James Ptacek

Battered Women In The Courtroom

The Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law

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Recent laws have given women much-needed rights in seeking protection from abusive men, but judges still hold the authority to issue restraining orders or send batterers to jail. While most studies on state intervention for victims have focused on the role of police, Battered Women in the Courtroom looks at the lives of abused women.

This investigation of women, violence, and the courts centers on encounters between women and judges in restraining order hearings in Massachusetts, one of the first states to offer new civil and criminal options to victims of abusive behavior. It also examines the feminist political movements that gave rise to current state laws and considers the effects of men's violence on women's daily lives.

James Ptacek questions whether judges still respond to abused women with indifference or impatience, as they have in the past, or whether they now treat battering as a serious crime. He looks at the types of violence that women report to the courts, analyzes how judges exercise their authority in restraining order hearings, examines how they perceive their role in negotiations with women, and studies their impact on women's efforts to escape the social entrapment of violence. The author also considers class and racial dimensions of the issue by drawing on cases from both white and African American communities.

Ptacek exposes many of the myths and dilemmas about the abuse of women while addressing the political, institutional, and socio-psychological aspects of women's experiences with the courts. He offers crucial insights into the power of judges to encourage or discourage women from claiming their rights under the law.

Prefacep. ix
Judges and the Social Entrapment of Battered Womenp. 3
Political Moves: Class, Race, and Research on Woman Batteringp. 16
The Reconstruction of a Public Problem: Judicial Responses to Woman Battering in Massachusettsp. 40
Why Women Seek Restraining Orders: The Tactics and Strategies of Men Who Batterp. 69
Judging as Emotional Labor: Courtroom Observations of Restraining Order Hearingsp. 92
Judges' Perspectives on Restraining Order Hearingsp. 112
Women's Experiences Seeking Restraining Ordersp. 136
Disorder in the Courts: Battering and Judicial Responsesp. 168
Appendix: Research Methodsp. 185
Notesp. 193
Referencesp. 213
Indexp. 233
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781555533908
ISBN-10: 1555533906
Series: The Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 10th June 1999
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.4