Is Murder Ever Justified?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Pass it on.

By Rachel Sandler, JWI Intern

Last month, Barbara Sheehan went to trail for brutally killing her husband in February, 2008, by shooting him 11 times with two guns. Was this the act of psychotic killer, or was this the act of a desperate woman finally taking a stand?

To this end, we must ask ourselves, is murder ever justified?

Ms. Sheehan was brutally abused throughout her marriage, a fact to which her two adult children will testify in court. The abuse detailed so far in the trial is enough to convince anyway her life was in serious danger.

The line between self-defense and murder is a fine and rocky line, and one that countless battered women encounter. JWI’s National Alliance to End Domestic Abuse ran training on this topic in June 2011. The webinar is available for download.

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we must ensure that no more women reach this stage of desperation. We need to stop domestic abuse in its tracks, so that no more women risk going to jail to defend themselves.

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