Domestic abuse can lead to mental instability that may affect a victim’s actions and conduct. According to Bland and Ariel (2020), a sufferer might experience temporary insanity that makes them commit deeds such as murder. A long history of violence is possible to interfere with a victim’s sound decision-making process. This can drive them to search for quick solutions such as killing to end their suffering. Similarly, Hernández (2018) argues that exposure to long-term family violence causes a state of mind that is known as a slow burn. In this state, the victim develops irrational decisions such as killing the abuser. In such a case, the abuser is killed when least expected. Due to their verified unstable minds, the perpetrator of the crime should thus not be treated as a cold-blooded killer (Hernández, 2018). It should be considered a form of self-defense even though it was not a response to an immediate act of abuse.
Sometimes, killing occurs instantly through spontaneous actions and in self-defense. There has to be sustainable evidence to show that the actions that led to killing were completely unplanned and unintentional and, therefore, justifiable (Bows & Herring, 2020). While killing in response to family violence can be viewed as a form of defense, it is also important to note that there are less harmful ways to respond to domestic abuse such as reporting to authorities. Chisale (2018) explains that reporting to authorities the first instance abuse occurs helps prevent possible future killings of intimate partners in the family. Reporting violence on the first instance of abuse is an efficient way of preventing slow burn and battered victim syndrome that is linked to spouse killing in an abusive setup.
Bland, M. P., & Ariel, B. (2020). Targeting domestic abuse with police data. Springer.
Bows, H., & Herring, J. (2020). Getting away with murder? A review of the ‘rough sex defense’. The Journal of Criminal Law, 84(6), 525-538. Web.
Chisale, S. S. (2018). Domestic abuse in marriage and self-silencing: Pastoral care in a context of self-silencing. HTS Theological Studies, 74(2), 1-8. Web.
Hernández, M. (2018). “Killed out of love”: A frame analysis of domestic violence coverage in Hong Kong. Violence Against Women, 24(12), 1454-1473. Web.