In the 1984 movie, The Burning Bed, Farah Fawcett plays Francine Hughes, a Michigan housewife who was prosecuted for murder after she set her husband on fire while he slept on their bed. The defense argued that Mrs. Hughes was a victim of 13 years of abuse, which had made her unable to think rationally and leave the relationship, a defense now popularly known as the ”battered woman’s syndrome (BWS).”
Based on the above scenario, answer the following questions:
- In this context, explain the concept of the BWS, the arguments commonly made by the opposition, and the rationale for your arguments. Refer the Internet and give an example of a similar case study that you have come across. Analyze whether the victim in this case got justice. Was the offender convicted? Why? What was the uniqueness of this case?
- What are the factors that compel a victim to stay in an abusive relationship? Is domestic abuse and violence common against men? Why?