Sunday, April 22, 2012


Texas Journal of Women & the Law; Spring2011, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p131-164, 34p

King-Ries, A. (2010). teens, technology, and cyberstalking: the domestic violence wave of the future?. Retrieved from

Stalking made easy

'The fear never leaves me': Chilling ordeal of woman bombarded by threats from cyber stalker who terrorised her for months
Bates, D. (1-23). Retrieved from

Stalking Resource Center

20 Reasons Why She Stays A Guide for Those Who Want to Help Battered Women
McGee, S. G. S. (1995). 20 reasons why she stays a guide for those who want to help battered women. Retrieved from

Sin by silence fact sheet
Sin by silence:convicted women against abuse fact sheet
. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Brenda released

Gosselin, D. K. (2010). Heavy hands. (4 ed.). Pearson Education, Inc,.

Violence Against Women: Around the World

Across the globe, violence against women is prevalent and appears to be such a norm in different countries that women who are victims of abuse don't even recognize that it's wrong. There has been little done in the past to change these societal norms, however more and more organizations and groups have come together to advocate for women and children. It is important to note that not only is there violence against women and girls in the United States, but also across the world. Violence shows no discrimination and is a world wide epidemic.

In places like Uganda, their justice system in norther Uganda ignores, denies, and tacitly condones violence against women and girls and protects suspected perpetrators. There are traditional gender expectations that makes it hard for women to think that what is happening to them is wrong since both men and women believe that the husband has the right to beat and rape his wife.

In India, there exists the practice of giving dowries* . According to Gosselin, more than 6,000 women are killed each year because their in-laws consider their dowries inadequate. Bride burning** is an example of dowry death that is practiced.
*payment of money or articles during, before, or after marriage by the girl's parent to her in-laws (Gosselin, 2010)
**a man, or his family, douses his wife in kerosene, gasoline, or other flammable liquid, and sets the woman on fire, leading to her death (Gosselin, 2010).

Female Genital Mutilation 

- Cultural practice, not religious- although some have adopted it into their religion, that started in Africa
- refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs (Gosselin, 2010).
- Between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world are estimated to have undergone such procedures, and 30 million girls are estimated to be at risk every year (INIFEM, 2008).
- FGM interferes with normal functioning of the body and causes several immediate and long-term health consequences.
- it is seen as a "right of passage" or new coming-of-age ceremony

      - With an end in sight is a Kenyan group developed to create alternative rites of passage to discourage FGM. For example, focusing on self-esteem, health, and women's empowerment.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spousal Homicide/Battered Women

There has been much talk and debate about spousal homicide and about the "battered women's syndrome". These crimes and victims are on a different legal level due to the fact that there are different factors that contribute to the homicide, such as repeated acts of violence on an individual. It's important to acknowledge the different terms and categories of homicide as a basis to understanding the battered women's syndrome.

Battering: a repetitive pattern of behavior that is intended to gain power and control over a person (Gosselin, 2010)

Intimate Partner Violence: violence committed by a current or former spouse, opposite-sex cohabiting partner, same-sex cohabiting partner, date, or boyfriend or girlfriend (Gosselin, 2010)

Intimate Partner Homicide: is also identified as a family homicide. This category of family killing, is the killing of a spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend (Gosselin, 2010)
             Femicide: killing of a woman by her relative, friend, or lover (Gosselin, 2010)

Justifiable homicide: killing without evil or criminal intent, for which there can be no blame, such as that done in self-defense to protect oneself or to protect another (Gosselin, 2010). 

Excusable homicide: a homicide committed accidentally or with sufficient provocation while doing some lawful activity is termed excusable homicide (Gosselin, 2010). 
Battered Women's Syndrome: 
       "Based on the theory of learned helplessness and the cycle of abuse. The battered victimbegins to believe that she or he cannot influence or escape the abuser's violence" (Gosselin, 2010). Sometimes these victims feel like their only option is kill the abuser. 

There are 4 general characteristics of the syndrome: 
1. The woman believes that violence is her fault.
2. The woman has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere. 
3. The woman fears for her life and/or her children's lives.
4. The woman has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.
(Gosselin, 2010). 

In the different cases in which women have killed their abusers, some argue that their actions are deemed justifiable and/or excusable. During court cases, some women use this syndrome as a defense for killing their partner. We saw in "Sin by Silence" that there were no laws in place or knowledge on the topic of battered women's syndrome, to help these women that had experienced abuse for many years. They were convicted solely on murder charges, and it wasn't until this information was put together, and laws began to pass, that these women were able to have their cases open up again. 

There is argument that women cannot use this "excuse" as self defense due to the fact that the abuse might have not been happening at that moment that she killed her partner. At the same time, it is justifiable and excusable because of the continuous amounts of abuse they had suffered, and their psychological state at the time of killing.

The women that are now behind bars for killing their partners as seen in the film, may remain in prison and carry out their sentence, but what they have done is create awareness and have created different advocacy groups and discussions that wouldn't have started without them. In my opinion, these women started another movement to help future women that may find themselves in these situations.

In 1989 the  Convicted Women Against Abuse was initiated and founded by Brenda Clubine. The first women to be granted clemency were Brenda Aris and Frances Caccavale. This organization of convicted abused women created advocacy and sought justice. Their efforts are impressive and admirable that they were survivors and had a voice.

October 22, 2008, Brenda Clubine, one of the women in prison convicted of murder, was released from prison and continues to speak out and advocate for victims of domestic violence. She was the 20th survivor to be released.


Brenda Clubine after being released!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Intimate Partner Violence

Chapter 7 is about intimate partner violence. It goes into detail about various theories of intimate partner violence and the different forms of IPV such as violence against women and men. It also talks about sexual offenses such as marital rape and date rape, and reasons as to why women remain with their abuser. I chose this chapter because I am interested in helping victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and creating awareness. People in society have a tendency to "victim blame" and can easily ask why these women stay in violent relationships. They too often say they must "like it" if they are still in it, however, they don't realize there are too many factors and dynamics as to why they DON'T leave. I am particularly interested in the "sexual offenses" part of this chapter. It amazes me that it wasn't until 1993 that marital rape finally became a crime in all the 50 states of America. Elements of IPV are also mentioned in our textbook in Chapter 10: Adult Perpetrators.

20 Reasons Why She Stays A Guide for Those Who Want to Help Battered Women
is an article that talks about the different reasons why
women stay with their abusive partner. This may happen because they may not have the financial stability to be a single parent, or they cannot afford the justice system. This article mentions how society is asking the wrong questions. They always focus on the victim saying why doesn't "she" change, why doesn't "she" do something about it, instead of what can we do to stop "him", how can we prosecute "him". I chose this article because it mentions Lenore Walker's Cycle of Violence Theory that was also discussed in this chapter.
McGee, S. G. S. (1995). 20 reasons why she stays a guide for those who want to help battered women. Retrieved from

Power and Control Wheel helps explain the elements of a battering relationship.
- Can be found in Chapter 10.


Internet Sites:

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a great resource on the web. It talks about an overview of domestic violence as it relates to different types of abuse such as elder abuse, teen dating violence,  child abuse, and intimate partner violence. It gives great statistics and links to much information about IPV. 

To end domestic, sexual and individual violence and victimization in our communities.

ATVP promotes peace, equality and justice for all on the Palouse, and provides a safe environment for victims and survivors, offering professional assistance to support an individual’s choice.

I believe this is a great agency that does their best to uphold their vision and mission statements. They do a great job at advocating for victims of abuse. The type of advocacy that they provide is legal advocacy, medical advocacy, and advocacy based counseling. They have many services that are free to primary and secondary victims and survivors. They have many other services that are free and confidential such as a 24 hour hotline, support groups, and confidential shelter.

Date rape drug suspected in reported sex assault: This is an article about a man who used Rohypnol "roofie" "date rape drug" on a woman. He used this drug to sexually assault her.

                                                      Intimate Partner Violence Video

Lyrics to Face Down by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Song from the above video:
Hey, girl, you know you drive me crazy
one look puts the rhythm in my hand.
Still I'll never understand why you hang around
I see what's going down.

Cover up with makeup in the mirror
tell yourself, it's never gonna happen again
You cry alone and then he swears he loves you.

Do you feel like a man when you push her around?
Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?
Well I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end
as your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.

A pebble in the water makes a ripple effect
every action in this world will bear a consequence
If you wade around forever, you will surely drown
I see what's going down.

I see the way you go and say you're right again,
say you're right again
Heed my lecture.

Do you feel like a man when you push her around?
Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?
Well I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end
as your lies crumble down, a new life she has...

One day she will tell you that she has had enough
It's coming round again.

Do you feel like a man when you push her around?
Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?
Well I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end
as your lies crumble down, a new life she has...

Face down in the dirt, she said,
"This doesn't hurt", she said,
"I finally had enough."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Chapter 12 introduces stalking and homicide. It goes into detail about what stalking is and gives different examples of stalking such as following, harassment, threats, etc. It also gives us great insight as to who the perpetrators of stalking are and their characteristics. We learn that it is seen as a gender-neutral crime, but the majority are males. I chose this chapter because I am very interested in the topic of "cyberstalking". This hits close to home as I was a victim of harassment on the web- cyberstalking, and that is why I wish to write about it now and research it. I am also interested in how this affects teens and the types of violence it creates such as suicide/homicide. This is an important topic as more and more crimes are committed on individuals due to the increased level of technology and social networks.
*All the yellow texts represent different hyperlinks. To view articles, webpages, or videos, just click on any title

I chose this article because it talks about how technology might be creating a new wave of domestic violence. It explains that the internet is a powerful source and given all the personal information that is stored on the web, makes it easier for stalkers to find information about their target. Using the information to locate them, as well as possible take the information they find and use is, falsifying themselves as the victim. Also devices like BlackBerries or other cellphones which have GPS, makes it easier as well for stalkers to locate their victims. They can easily download undetectable spywear and can use the GPA feature to determine exactly the location of the device at all times. The link takes you to the full article which also goes into detail about teenagers and how technology influences stalking and harassment between relationships.

Texas Journal of Women & the Law
; Spring2011, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p131-164, 34p 
King-Ries, A. (2010). teens, technology, and cyberstalking: the domestic violence wave of the future?. Retrieved from

YouTube video: Stalking Made Easy

Internet Sites 
The National Institute of Justice site gives information about stalking such as policies, prosecutions of stalkers, statistics and definitions, and resources for victims.
National Institute of Justice

The Stalking Resource Center gives victims of stalking information and resources as to how to make themselves safe. I think it's important because it highlights safety planning and the importance of advocates in helping create these safety plans.

The news article below is about Kristen Pratt who was a victim of cyberstalking. She has had much stress and emotional anxiety due to the stalker sending her threatening messages through email/Facebook and Twitter, phone calls, and videos about him killing her or threatening her. Cyberstalking does happen and there needs to be more awareness about it and ways to protect ourselves.

'The fear never leaves me': Chilling ordeal of woman bombarded by threats from cyber stalker who terrorized her for months

I also wanted to include this article because it is a notorious case of cyberstalking (cyberbullying) about a young girl, Megan Meier who committed suicide after an online hoax.

Parents: Cyber Bullying Led to Teen's Suicide

 The Stalker Song

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night
It's only right to think about the girl I stalk
Each day and night,
So happy together.

I dated you, for just a week
You dumped me and I cried real hard
And still can't sleep.
So now I'll have to force you to come back to me,
So happy together.

I can't see me stalking nobody but you for all your life
When you're with me baby the skies will be blue
For all my life.

I call you up at 2 am
I wake you and hang up the phone
And do it again.
That's what you get for goin' out with other men,
So happy together.

I can't see me stalking nobody but you for all your life
When you're with me baby the skies will be blue
For all my life.

I see you, you don't see me
I'm hidden with my telephoto lense up in the tree
You're walking and you look around, suspiciously,
So happy together.

"Hey...sugar...I like your no that's kinda lame.
I got it, I got it. Hey baby, it's me again....surprise! That's a good
one, I like that, surprise, haha."

I've got your cat, don't be alarmed,
As long as you come talk to me,
He won't be harmed
We'll go and get a bite to eat
I'll come unarmed
So happy together...forever and happy together.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Hello All! My name is Charito Morales and this is my Critical Insight Blog! Thanks for checking it out.
I am studying Child Development/Family Relations as well as Spanish here at the University of Idaho.

I am very interested in the topics of domestic violence and sexual assault because I believe that there needs to be an end to violence! My interest in the sociology aspect comes from my passion to help others. I have had the opportunity to help families and victims through an internship I currently have through the Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse. With this internship and through this course, I have been able to learn things that I did not know before. We are the people who can make a difference. Some families, children, elderly, women and men have been victimized and have no voice, I would like to be one of the people to help them overcome these events. But I am just one person, together we can help advocate and work towards an end to violence.

I chose this picture because it describes exactly what I feel about the impact the community and individuals can have on the prevention of domestic violence. "Together can break the chain of domestic violence" is something that we all need to become aware of. There is so much we can do whether it be lending a listening ear or doing something to prevent abuse. Together we can work to help those who are silenced and help prevent abuse in the future.
Below is a poem that I found that really shows what goes through the mind of a victim of domestic violence. It also demonstrates that trageties do happen in many cases. Sad poem, but it is real.

I Got Flowers Today
I got flowers today.
It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night,
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.
I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today.

It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn't believe it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today,
And it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day.
Last night, he beat me up again.
And it was much worse than all the other times.
If I leave him, what will I do?
How will I take care of my kids?
What about money?
I'm afraid of him and scared to leave.
But I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today.
Today was a very special day.
It was the day of my funeral.
Last night, he finally killed me.
He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage
and strength to leave him,
I would not have gotten

-written by Paulette Kelly