Gender-based violence and the criminal system - When battered women fight back: the law of self-defense. : A single case study of the self-defense principle in a context of domestic violence in the United States

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för globala politiska studier (GPS)

Abstract: This thesis focuses on the law of self-defense in the United States, in a context of domestic violence. The starting point is the work of Cynthia Gillespie, a US attorney whose groundbreaking work in 1989 shed light on the many legal obstacles battered women defendants face in Courts while pleading self-defense to homicide charges. Gillespie argued that some of the requirements inherent to the law of self-defense create unfavorable outcomes when applied to the context of domestic violence. The aim is to understand how the issue has evolved today, through the study of a single case ruled in 2019, “People V Addimando”. The conclusion is that there are some positive evolutions even if some severe obstacles remain. Some hope is to be found with the introduction of a new bill, the DVJSA, which is retroactive. 

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