Kat Haber

Organizer / Curator, WILD Foundation

This conversation is closed.

Is it morally permissible for victims to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence?

1/3 of all female murders are done by intimate partners.

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    Feb 3 2012: Only if the person is in immediate mortal danger and has no other option. Otherwise they should just pack their bags and leave, and then report it to the proper authorities.
  • Feb 4 2012: It should be permissible. If you are protecting yourself and you know that you know deadly force is the only way to stop the abuse then of course.Being the abuse was not the first time, would be even more reason to use such force.
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    Feb 4 2012: The usual idea of self-defense in regards to domestic violence can never really apply- especially in the case of this question. Domestic violence always escalates, and 1/3 of the time ends up in the death of the victim. So, feasibly the idea of immediate moral danger is present, but it' not necessarily immediate because most of the time when victims kill their attackers as a preemptive strike because they know their attacker will kill them sooner or later. Also, options in the case of domestic violence victims are available, but are ineffective. 50% of all restraining orders meant to protect domestic violence victims are violated in the first month. How long does it take you to run 50 feet? A few seconds? Now, how far away, at any given moment, are you from a police station? At least a few blocks, so let's say about 5-10 minutes away. Excluding the mental control these attacker use on their victims, the ability for them to leave physically is almost non-existent because if they do leave, and go to a shelter of some kind the risk of their attacker killing them increases to 60%. When the victims leave it provokes the attacker into greater violence, and law enforcement fails to help. So, looking at the actuality of this situation in question. Yes, they do have "options", but they are ineffective. And no, they are not "in immediate danger", but at one time they will be especially because its repeated domestic violence in question. So, frankly, in the case of this question they have no options and they are in danger, just not in the straight-foreword since most cases of self-defense are.