Approved elective course for Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies
This course will begin by critically evaluating the literature on the incidence, distribution and causes of wife abuse. Central to the evaluation of this literature will be feminist critiques of the category women and the homogeneity of experience implied by its use, and the more specific critiques of much of the wife abuse literature which have been voiced by women of colour, lesbians and immigrant women. We will then consider several specific issues relating to practice with women who experience abuse in their intimate relationships. These will likely include a critical examination of the medicalization of woman abuse and the role of programs for batterers; of ethical dilemmas (duties to warn, duties to contact child welfare authorities); of record-keeping and the use of records by defence lawyers; and of the efficacy of criminalization strategies.