Discussion Questions

  • 1. How do police expectations about battered women’s being prone to drop charges against their abusive husbands create a selffulfilling prophecy and deny women their proper legal rights of protection?
  • 2. What legal remedies could be enacted to deal with the problems of hidden family violence—elderly abuse, sibling violence, parent abuse, abuse of adolescents?
  • 3. Give an example of how compassion and control could be used to intervene in cases of child abuse, intimate partner violence, and abuse of the elderly.
  • 4. Should the criminal justice system be given more responsibility for child maltreatment cases?

Suggested Assignments

1. Create a resource guide that lists the community services (names, addresses, telephone numbers, websites) of agencies and organizations that deal with various aspects of family violence.

2. Find out what the local laws are about domestic violence and see how they are implemented by observing cases in a courtroom.


  • 1. 431 U.S. 816 (1977).
  • 2. 455 US 745 (1982).
  • 3. Amendments to the Social Security Act of 1935.
  • 4. In an uncapped, open-ended entitlement program, the state receives a certain level of reimbursement from the federal government for every eligible claim submitted. There is no budgetary cap on the funding. The amount allocated is dependent on the number of eligible children and the reimbursement rate per child.
  • 5. In the 1980s, there was still no official federal effort to collect data on foster care; therefore, the numbers cited in the text and table are from unofficial tabulations.
  • 6. The remaining proportion of the 50,000 children whose plan was not adoption had permanency plans of long-term foster care or emancipation—(reaching the age of a legal adult).
  • 7. See https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport21.pdf
  • 8. Commonly referred to as “Obamacare.”
  • 9. A movie, A Cry for Help, dramatized this case.
  • 10. Thurman v. City of Torrington. UDC No. H-84120, June 25, 1985.
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