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Biopower and Battered Women
Unformatted Document Text:  Edna Ballington’s desire to protect her only child from the man who had abused her throughout their marriage resulted in her strangulation death. A beating from a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives sent his wife to the Emergency Room. Janet Taylor was asphyxiated with a t-shirt after failing to heed her ex-husband’s warnings that he would “kill [her] if [she] didn’t come home.” These cases are far from being isolated. Estimates from the American Medical Association (AMA) state that “nearly one quarter of women in the United States – more than 12 million – will be abused by a current or former partner some time during their lives” (Flitcraft et al 6). Furthermore, the AMA estimates that “52% of female murder victims were killed by a current or former partner” (Flitcraft et al 6) and that between 22% and 35% of women who come to emergency rooms each year are there because of incidents of domestic violence. Forty percent of women who are physically abused by their partners are first battered when they are pregnant, and their children are sometimes born with broken bones and ruptured organs (Schneider 2000). The ongoing pervasiveness of domestic violence in American society, which is documented in news reports and addressed on a yearly basis in the legislature of South Carolina (and other states with poor records), shows few signs of lessening. For domestic violence-related homicides, South Carolina is ranked sixth in the nation; 50 were perpetrated last year, and 40 had female victims (Blakeney 2008). South Carolina has been chosen as the state whose laws and media will be examined in this paper because it consistently has one of the highest rankings for domestic violence as well as one of the highest rankings for the number of women killed by men each year. 2

Authors: Bargar, Jessica.
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Edna Ballington’s desire to protect her only child from the man who had abused 
her throughout their marriage resulted in her strangulation death. A beating from a 
candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives sent his wife to the Emergency Room. 
Janet Taylor was asphyxiated with a t-shirt after failing to heed her ex-husband’s 
warnings that he would “kill [her] if [she] didn’t come home.” These cases are far from 
being isolated. Estimates from the American Medical Association (AMA) state that 
“nearly one quarter of women in the United States – more than 12 million – will be 
abused by a current or former partner some time during their lives” (Flitcraft et al 6). 
Furthermore, the AMA estimates that “52% of female murder victims were killed by a 
current or former partner” (Flitcraft et al 6) and that between 22% and 35% of women 
who come to emergency rooms each year are there because of incidents of domestic 
violence. Forty percent of women who are physically abused by their partners are first 
battered when they are pregnant, and their children are sometimes born with broken 
bones and ruptured organs (Schneider 2000). 
The ongoing pervasiveness of domestic violence in American society, which is 
documented in news reports and addressed on a yearly basis in the legislature of South 
Carolina (and other states with poor records), shows few signs of lessening. For domestic 
violence-related homicides, South Carolina is ranked sixth in the nation; 50 were 
perpetrated last year, and 40 had female victims (Blakeney 2008). South Carolina has 
been chosen as the state whose laws and media will be examined in this paper because it 
consistently has one of the highest rankings for domestic violence as well as one of the 
highest rankings for the number of women killed by men each year.

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