Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Standing on Precarious Ground

Publication Date



Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of


Political Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Griffith

Presentation Type

Metadata Only



Although self-defense is not a new feature of the American legal system, Stand Your Ground laws have changed the dynamic of self-defense laws. Stand Your Ground laws have been a topic of controversy for many states due to their ambiguous comportment. In the American legal system, the use of formidable force on a cohabitant is not an inherently justifiable action. While the Stand Your Ground laws are intended to be a solution to the unnecessary use of the legal system for self-defense cases, the laws have created additional controversies. If states have a Stand Your Ground law, domestic violence victims who are facing legal repercussions will often attempt to make a Stand Your Ground claim. When domestic abuse victims rely on Stand Your Ground laws for legal protection, there has been increasing instances of unequal application. This paper will attempt to answer the question of why do Stand Your Ground laws result in unequal levels of legal protection for domestic violence victims? The proposed answer is that Stand Your Ground Laws exacerbates domestic violence by creating additional legal hurdles for domestic violence victims. The underlying presumption is that a more robust Stand Your Ground law with a specific subset for domestic violence will correlate to more legal protection for domestic violence victims.

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