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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Defending Battered Women on Trial

Lessons from the Transcripts

In the landmark Lavallee decision of 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that evidence of “battered woman syndrome” was admissible in establishing self-defence for women accused of killing their abusive partners. This book looks at the trials of eleven battered women, ten of whom killed their partners, in the fifteen years since Lavallee. Drawing extensively on trial transcripts and a rich expanse of interdisciplinary sources, the author looks at the evidence produced at trial and at how self-defence was argued. By illuminating these cases, this book uncovers the practical and legal dilemmas faced by battered women on trial for murder.

416 pages

Law and Society

Table of Contents


1 Angelique Lyn Lavallee

2 Bonnie Mooney

3 Kimberley Kondejewski

4 Gladys Heavenfire and Doreen Sorenson

5 Donelda Kay, Denise Robin Rain, and Jamie Gladue

6 Lilian Getkate

7 Margaret Ann Malott and Rita Graveline


Appendix; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index

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