Battered Woman’s Syndrome

In the 1984 movie, The Burning Bed, Farah Fawcett plays Francine Hughes, a Michigan housewife who was prosecuted for murder after she set her husband on fire while he slept on their bed. The defense argued that Mrs. Hughes was a victim of 13 years of abuse, which had made her unable to think rationally and leave the relationship, a defense now popularly known as the ”battered woman’s syndrome (BWS).”

Based on the above scenario, answer the following questions:

  • In this context, explain the concept of the BWS, the arguments commonly made by the opposition, and the rationale for your arguments. Refer to the South University Online library or the Internet and give an example of a similar case study that you have come across. Analyze whether the victim in this case got justice. Was the offender convicted? Why? What was the uniqueness of this case?
  • What are the factors that compel a victim to stay in an abusive relationship? Is domestic abuse and violence common against men? Why?

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