U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Battered Women in the Courtroom: The Power of Judicial Responses

NCJ Number
James Ptacek
Date Published
252 pages
This book examines the ways in which judges respond to abused women who seek legal redress.
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. The book questions whether judges still respond to abused women with indifference or impatience, as they have in the past, or treat battering as a serious crime. It examines the types of violence that women report to the courts, analyzes how judges exercise their authority in restraining order hearings, reviews how they perceive their role in negotiations with women, and studies their impact on women’s efforts to escape the social entrapment of violence. In addition, it discusses class, race, and research on woman battering. The book exposes many of the myths and dilemmas about the abuse of women and offers insights into the power of judges to encourage or discourage women from claiming their rights. Notes, tables, figures, references, appendix, index


No download available