The purpose of the present effort is to examine the experiences of Black victim-defendants. To begin, an integration of both the family violence gender symmetry perspective and the contextual perspective is reviewed, with a particular focus on Black women's use of violence within heterosexual relationships. The concept of bidirectional asymmetric violence is then developed as a result of that integration. This is followed by an exploration of possible factors that may contribute to Black women's overrepresentation in the legal system, including the enactment of mandatory arrest laws. Because feminist scholars have used life histories to document the experiences of Black victim-defendants to good effect, a detailed description of the experiences of a one particular Black victim-defendant is then presented in order to provide a real-world example of such factors. Finally, strategies for advocacy and intervention are offered.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/carolyn_west/5/