The Loss of Autonomy in Abused Persons: Psychological, Moral, and Legal Dimensions
AbstractThis paper tries to resolve a tension in popular conceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV). On the one hand, we correctly assume that all abused persons are not the same: they have irreducibly plural personalities. On the other hand, we correctly assume that abused persons suffer from a loss of autonomy. The puzzle is: if abused persons share deficits in autonomy, why does it not follow that they share a set of personality traits? I argue that the psychological states implicated in autonomy-impairment in abused persons are situation-sensitive responses to salient eliciting conditions, not personality traits. This view has substantive moral and legal implications, as it implies that abusers are responsible for inflicting severe moral harms on victim-survivors, and they may also be liable for unlawful abduction and rape, in case the abused person lives with or has sexual contact with the abuser. This is because the conditions of abuse undermine the victim-survivor’s ability to autonomously consent to cohabitation and sexual contact with the abuser. I argue that the best way of protecting people from autonomy-undermining abuse is public education. View Full-Text
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Ciurria, M. The Loss of Autonomy in Abused Persons: Psychological, Moral, and Legal Dimensions. Humanities 2018, 7, 48.
Ciurria M. The Loss of Autonomy in Abused Persons: Psychological, Moral, and Legal Dimensions. Humanities. 2018; 7(2):48.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ciurria, Michelle. 2018. "The Loss of Autonomy in Abused Persons: Psychological, Moral, and Legal Dimensions." Humanities 7, no. 2: 48.
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