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Journal Article

Citation

Hanna C. Violence Against Women 2009; 15(12): 1458-1476.

Affiliation

Vermont Law School.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2009, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/1077801209347091

PMID

19820177

Abstract

This article examines Evan Stark's model of coercive control and what this paradigm shift might mean for the law. Coercive control can help redefine both criminal offenses involving domestic violence and defenses available to women who kill their abusers. This redefinition would shift the law away from incident-based violence and toward a more comprehensive and accurate paradigm that accounts for the deprivation of a woman's autonomy within the context of an abusive relationship. Such a change would likely provide more effective state intervention into what were once considered private relationships. Yet, this approach may also have some unintended consequences, including refocusing the law on a victim's mental state and complicity in her own abuse rather than on the harm caused by abusive men. Thus, although the law should more fully account for coercive control, lawyers must be cautiously optimistic in implementing Stark's proposed reforms.


Language: en

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