The Battered Woman Syndrome, Third Edition

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Springer Publishing Company, Mar 23, 2009 - Psychology - 512 pages

"This is an excellent book, written by the foremost authority in the field. [It] is easy to read and does a nice job integrating theory and research." Score: 95, 4 stars


Walker's seminal, groundbreaking book The Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) has forged new directions in the field of domestic violence for over 30 years. Now, the highly anticipated, third edition offers thoroughly updated and revised research on key topics, including posttraumatic stress disorder, learned helplessness or learned optimism, the cycle theory of violence, and much more.

This third edition presents updated data generated from the newly modified Battered Woman Syndrome Questionnaire (BWSQ). With a new focus on culture and ethnicity, these data detail the experiences of foreign women who either live in their country of origin or the U.S. Like its popular predecessors, this new edition serves as a valuable resource for both professional counselors and students studying domestic violence.

Discussions on the revised criteria for the BWS and PTSD:

  • Posttraumatic stress and re-experiencing the trauma
  • High levels of anxiety and arousal
  • Emotional numbing, avoidance behaviors, and depression
  • Disrupted interpersonal relationships
  • Distorted body image and physical illnesses
  • Sexual issues, including feelings of guilt, shame, and jealousy

Key topics discussed:

  • Attachment issues for battered women and the men who batter them
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Risk factors for further abuse
  • Women in prison and battered women who kill their abusive partners in self-defense
  • The Survivor Therapy Empowerment Program (STEP) which helps women better understand how the violence has impacted their lives

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Chapter 1 The Battered Woman Syndrome Study Overview
Chapter 2 History
Chapter 3 What Is the Battered Woman Syndrome?
Chapter 4 Learned Helplessness Learned Optimism and Battered Women
Chapter 5 Descriptions of Violence and the Cycle of Violence
Chapter 6 Risk Assessment and Lethal Potential
Chapter 7 Body Image and Health Concerns
Chapter 8 Sexuality Issues
Chapter 11 Impact of Violence in the Home on Children
Chapter 12 CrossCultural and CrossNational Issues in Domestic Violence
Chapter 13 Domestic Violence Courts and Batterers Treatment Programs
Chapter 14 Battered Women in Jail and Prison
Chapter 15 Mental Health Needs of Battered Women
Chapter 16 Survivor Therapy Empowerment Program STEP

Chapter 9 Battered Womens Attachment Style and Interpersonal Functioning
Chapter 10 Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence

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About the author (2009)

Lenore E. A. Walker, EdD, is a professor at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Psychology, where she is also a coordinator of the clinical forensic psychology doctoral concentration and director of the master's in forensic psychology program. She is also in the independent practice of forensic psychology, where she specializes in work with victims of interpersonal gender violence, particularly battered women and abused children. Dr. Walker earned her undergraduate degree in 1962 from City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College, her master of science in 1967 from CUNY City College, and her EdD in psychology in 1972 from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. In 2004, she received a postdoctoral master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology at NSU. She has been elected as a member of American Psychological Association (APA) governance since the mid-1980s, having served several terms on the APA Council of Representatives; on the board of directors; as the president of several divisions, including Division 35, the Society for the Psychology of Women, Division 42, Independent Practice, and Division 46, Media Psychology; and on boards and committees such as the Committee on Legal Issues (COLI) and the Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP).

She has worked on high-publicity (and thus high-risk) cases such as battered women who kill their abusive partners in self-defense, and has testified on behalf of protective mothers who are being challenged for custody by abusive fathers. She lectures and does training workshops all over the world about prevention, psychotherapy, legal cases, and public policy initiatives for abused women and children. Dr. Walker has authored numerous professional articles and 15 books, including The Battered Woman (1979), The Battered Woman Syndrome (1984/2000), Terrifying Love: Why Battered Women Kill and How Society Responds (1989), Abused Women and Survivor Therapy (1994), Introduction to Forensic Psychology (2004, coauthored with David Shapiro), Abortion Counseling: A Clinician's Guide to Psychology, Legislation, Politics, and Competency (2007, coauthored with Rachel Needle), First Responder's Guide to Abnormal Psychology (2007, coauthored with William Dorfman), and A Clinician's Guide to Forensic Psychology (2016, coauthored with David Shapiro).

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