01 January 2006
Neville Robertson - Supports state-sanctioned murder!
Neville Robertson and the former Women's Refuge national co-ordinator, Roma Balzer were in New Plymouth in April 2005 to run a seminar titled "Beyond Battered Women's Syndrome". The following comments by Robertson were reported by the Taranaki Daily News on 11 April 2005 "Murder seen as only way out for some women, seminars hear" by Lyn Humphreys:
Dr Robertson said battered women's syndrome should no longer be used to describe abused women's behaviour.
Because "syndrome" was added it became a disease, but it was simply a pattern of behaviour, he said.
"Its use is to help explain how women sometimes kill the men who abuse them. But you don't need a psychiatric explanation, you need a much simpler explanation.
"It's to do with terror and the failure of society to protect women who are being terrorised. As a consequence, killing him may be a perfectly rational thing to do and the only response available to them," Dr Robertson said.
Rather than use battered women's syndrome as a defence for the killing, a better legal remedy was to look at the notion of self-defence, he said.
Currently, self-defence could only be used when the danger was imminent.
"But if you are coming at me with a knife it is too late, so my defence has to be to attack when you are asleep."
For such women, the law should explore self-defence as a planned activity, rather than in the heat of the moment, Dr Robertson said.