What rights do men and women have to murder?
There’s an article in the NZHerald about killer Gay Oakes finding a new love and planning to marry. She was convicted of murdering her husband and sentenced to life imprisonment after lacing her de facto partner Doug Gardner’s coffee with sleeping pills and burying his body in the back yard of their home in Sydenham, Christchurch back in 1994. She was released eight years later when the Parole Board accepted battered women’s syndrome could be used as a defence.
The concept of battered woman syndrome was invented by Lenore Walker in 1979. She formulated a theory of excuse that would later become an accepted excusing condition. She hypothesised that women living in violent relationships suffer a cycle of violence and experience learned helplessness which prevents them from leaving the relationship. The theory is based on the observations of this sole researcher and today it’s used to excuse women from becoming criminals for abusive behaviour including murder. The weird part is that the law makes reference to battered women syndrome as a mental condition that doesn’t exist in the medical profession.
In R v Fate (1998) 16 CRNZ 88 a woman who had come to New Zealand from the small island of Nanumea, which is part of the Tuvalu Islands, received a two year sentence for manslaughter by provocation. Mrs. Fate spoke no English and was isolated within a small close-knit Wellington community of 12 families, so she felt trapped in the abusive relationship. 
Similarly, The Queen v Epifania Suluape (2002) NZCA 6, deals with a wife who pleaded provocation after she killed her husband with an axe when he proposed to leave her for another woman. There was some evidence of neglect, humiliation, and abuse but the court concluded that this was exaggerated. On appeal, the court was very conscious of the Samoan culture in New Zealand in restricting the power of the wife to act independently of her husband and reduced her sentence for manslaughter to five years.
A Whangarei woman had been found not guilty of murdering her husband by stabbing him in the heart with a kitchen knife. The defence maintained Stephens was acting in self defence and was suffering from battered woman’s syndrome, following continued abuse by Mr Stephens. During the eight days of evidence, the jury heard from psychologist Gail Ratcliffe who said, in her view, Stephens had been living in a battering relationship with her husband. Stephens suffered from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of that relationship, Dr Ratcliffe said.
Battered women’s syndrome also excuses women’s violence on their children. Jehan Casinader from the NZHerald writes about Fiji and the abuse Fijians suffer. In one paragraph she writes, “She agonises about a father of eight who continues to bash his children. The mother is little better, she says, eyes glistening, but perhaps she is another victim of the battered wife syndrome”.
It’s interesting that lots of laws we have today came from feminist theories back in the 70’s. I’m still shocked the idea that 1 in 4 women are raped came from a questionnaire in the women’s weekly that 100 people supposedly took part in. If you were to google “1 in 4” and rape, you’ll find experts are still saying “1 in 4” for women while saying “1 in 6” for men.
One brave journalist at canada.com writes, “The keystone of the feminist order is ‘domestic violence.’ Men are so universally presented as having ‘anger management issues,’ that even in the extreme case, where a woman has murdered her husband, the court will invite feminist ‘experts’ to argue that the man must have deserved it.”
The words above relate to a case where Ms. Craig’s trial in Ottawa heard evidence that one night, while Jack slept under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, she put a pillow over his face and stabbed him repeatedly with a butcher knife. In a videotaped statement made to police later, she admitted they had not even been arguing that night. Rather, she said: “I hate him, that’s why I kill him. Enough is enough. Get rid of him.” She was an abused wife, she told police, but the abuse was never physical, just verbal.
Men on the other hand are trying to change the law so they don’t have to pay alimony to wives who hire hitmen to kill them. California law currently bans people convicted of attempting to murder their spouse from benefiting from a divorce but, if they hired someone else to do it, they can still benefit.