Among the many abuses of the English language that feminism has wrought is the term “forensic social worker.” This is a category of employment. The word “forensic” is meant to dupe the public, and legal system, into thinking that social workers and psychologists practice science. Forensics specifically apply to sciences allowable in court rooms as evidence.
Psychology in the court room is a matter of social unrest. Insanity pleas are not generally well received by the public. While, personally, I believe that the rules of society are very easy to follow and any person incapable of such simple agreements must have a personality problem, I also don’t believe they should be excused for their crimes. My opinion is offered here as merely one example of a public reaction when criminals admit guilt but plead “not guilty”. There are many shades of individual opinion on the matter and they are just that: personal opinions.
The justice system seeks to remove opinion, emotion, and conjecture from the public courts for the explicit purpose of ensuring the laws apply to all persons equally. In other words, justice must be blind.
Contrary to that basic principle, psychologists, “forensic” social workers, and other “expert” witnesses of pseudo-sciences, like Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS), have made an industry for themselves by insisting that courts must try to understand how the criminal felt at the time they broke the law. Even when that law was the indispensable “do not kill people.”
The justice system has become corrupted by pressure groups to the extent they even allow so-called expert witnesses to testify about syndromes they just recently made up.
In Regina, Saskatchewan in 1993, Donelda Kay was on trial in Canada for killing her boyfriend. Kay’s Battered Woman Syndrome defence was complicated by a couple of factors: The night of the murder Donelda was seen physically assaulting her victim during a house party while he just sat on a couch laughing at her. When she grabbed a knife and plunged it into his heart he was still sitting on the couch. He stopped laughing. Donelda had only been in a relationship with her victim for six weeks.
Luckily for Donelda, Dr. Josie Catania was able to pull some testimony out of her butt that resulted in Kay’s acquittal. Elizabeth Sheehy promotes Catania’s work in her book “Defending Battered Women on Trial”.
Kay was thus a survivor of what Dr Catania called “multiple serialized battering,” a term that she coined to capture the experiences of teen mothers, “where there are short-term relationships, and … within that relationship there is abuse occurring.” Dr Catania testified: “[A] person exposed to multiple abuse and violence by different men would be more serious and more debilitating [because] if … more than one person [is] abusing, each abuse constitutes a confirmation or a reinforcement of your value as a person, that each guy tells you, you are no good, you’re not worth anything.” Kay, she said, “definitely” had the experience of multiple, serialized battering. (p.170)
For those who are unfamiliar with the word “coined”, it means that she just made it up.
The social network of psychologists is so effective at creating fast facts merely by repetition that another expert, Dr. Neilson, “reminded [the prosecutor] of the phenomenon of ‘multiple serialized battering’ (p. 176)” before the end of the same trial in which the syndrome was introduced. Unfortunately, the prosecutor didn’t remind Dr. Neilson that “multiple serialized battering” is only a phenomenon in that it had never been heard of before the trial began and had already become a form of expertise among colleagues. Sheehy classifies this fraud as “a stroke of genius”.
This brainchild by the Whores of the Court allowed psycho-experts to expand the definition of “battered” to include any women who had been previously battered by a man, even if the bloke she killed didn’t happen to be one of them. Kay and her dead boyfriend had only been together for six weeks so she needed a deus ex machina to pull off an acquittal. Experts were happy to oblige. For a fee.
Testimony regarding BWS was allowed for the first time in Canadian courts in 1990, when Angelique Lyn Lavallee was acquitted of murder after shooting her boyfriend in the back of the head while he left the room. Only three years later, allowing this unproven “syndrome” into courts allowed an “expert” in a syndrome not recognized in the DSM to fabricate a whole new branch of unproven study and submit it as forensic. Dr. Neilson could honestly say it was worst case she’d ever seen because, in fact, she’d never seen any before. It doesn’t currently exist.
These trials and judgments are important because the use of precedent, or case law, creates a slippery slope. While the “slippery slope” argument is normally considered a logical fallacy in debate, in the arena of law the need for precision is due to the reality of slippery slope applications. Every written court decision may create a legal precedent and it is the job of defence lawyers to figure out how to use that precedent to keep their clients out of jail.
One prominent forensic social worker, Evan Stark, came up with his own personal theory which has flavoured his testimony in over one hundred court cases. He calls it “coercive control”.
Stark doesn’t support the “violence model” of Battered Woman Syndrome because, he believes, the psychological abuse women experience is far more debilitating than the physical. Evan Stark thinks we need to take the “Battered” out of Battered Woman Syndrome. Well done, Evan. That leaves us with just “Woman Syndrome” as an excuse for murder.
Justice is no longer blind.