‘Justice is failing women forced to kill male abusers to stay alive’

Lawyers say dozens of female prisoners have been unfairly convicted of murder when they acted in self-defence

It was a specific moment in which she thought she might die that drove Stella to the brink. “He had strangled me at the bottom of the stairs and that frightened me because you can get punched in the face or your hand broken, but I had never lost my breath before,” she recalled.

For Nicole, she was “pushed over the edge” when violence by her partner triggered a post-traumatic response to historic abuse by other men. “I was getting flashbacks of abuse … everything came to a head and I just lost it.”

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