Going Underground: The Ethics of Advising a Battered Woman Fleeing an Abusive Relationship
26 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2007 Last revised: 19 May 2008
Using the story of Fran Benedetto, the protagonist of Anna Quindlen's novel BLACK AND BLUE, the article considers how an attorney might address the myriad legal questions posed by a battered woman's decision to go underground and the ethical issues that those questions might raise. The article then focuses on a larger ethical issue for those who represent battered women considering using the legal system as an alternative to going underground: can we continue to counsel women to use a system that cannot necessarily promise protection and sometimes does them great harm? And if we express our doubts about that system, are we violating the ethical rules that govern our conduct as attorneys?
Keywords: women, domestic violence
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