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Jacob Ronkin

In todays debate I affirm the resolution Resolved: It is morally permissible for victims
to use deadly force as a deliberate response to repeated domestic violence.
Before I begin my case, I would like to offer some brief definitions to help define the
round.
Permissible: that may be permitted
Deadly: likely to cause or capable of producing death
My value for this debate is Morality
Morality is defined as a doctrine or system of moral conduct.
My value criterion for this debate is preserving life.
Preserving is defined as to keep alive, intact, or free from decay
Preserving life should be the value criterion in this debate because it is morally right to
save as many lives as possible. Preserving life doesnt just refer to right now. Preserving life
could be teaching our kids that killing is a bad thing because the kid would learn not to kill and
could save lives. Therefore, my opponent must prove that if a mother killing a father shows a
girl how to stand up to violence, then we are preserving life and achieving morality.
Before I state my contentions, I would like to offer an observation. Since the resolution
states that using deadly force is morally permissible, I only have to prove that in one case, using
deadly force is okay and my opponent must prove that in all cases, using deadly force is not
allowed.
Contention 1: Domestic violence harms 3-4 million men and women in the United States
every year, and less lives can be lost if the victims kill their significant other. For example, if a

man kills his wife and marries another woman, he could kill her and beat her too. In turn, this
would cause too many deaths that can be stopped by a victim killing their significant other.
Sub Point A- One in four women have experienced domestic violence in her lifetime,
and 3 out of every 4 people personally know someone who has or is being beaten.
Sub Point B- Many deaths are being caused by domestic violence. Every day in the
United States, more than 3 women and 1 man are killed as a result of domestic violence. As a
result, many lives are lost and the perpetrator can attack another person to kill even more people.
Contention 2: Many battered people get restraining orders from the court, but these
restraining orders dont necessarily work.
Sub Point A- In New Jersey, more than 53 million people between the years 1994 and
1998 believed that their restraining orders didnt work and have experienced problems with
them. Since these people are still not safe from their loved ones who are hurting them, the
victims should still be able to defend themselves with deadly force since they are threatened.
Sub Point B- Restraining orders dont work because the people could accidentally see
each other, or they could see each other in a place where the people are both allowed to go. If a
woman gets a restraining order from her husband, the husband isnt allowed to go to certain
places like the womans office, house, etc, but the people may see each other at the store if the
man knows where the woman is going.
Contention 3: Battered women are in a physiological state called battered woman
syndrome where they think that they are going to die and cant escape the domestic violence.
Sub Point A- Because they are in such trauma, these women dont have many options,
first, they could kill their husband and stay in their home or they could shoot him and injure him
and escape to a shelter or call the Domestic Violence hotline. This makes it morally permissible

for victims to use deadly force as a result of domestic violence because the victim doesnt have
many options. Since my opponent must prove all cases of domestic violence, I can prove when
deadly actions are necessary for victims to escape and keep their life.
Sub Point B- Women with battered woman syndrome think that the beatings are their
fault, suicide rates are going up. In fact, middle aged women suicide rates have risen almost 4
percent since 2000. This may not seem like a lot, but it is. Most of these women kill themselves
because they are battered and they think the battery is their fault.
Contention 4: Because of epigenetics, characteristics of parents are and can be passed
down to children. This happens because gametes are known to be passed down from parents to
children. Gametes are cells that come straight from the parents. This means that characteristics
of parents are passed down to their offspring.
Sub Point A- If a young girl sees her mother stand up to her father, then it could lead the
young girl to learn to be strong in fighting against things like domestic violence or drugs.
Sub Point B- On the other hand, if the mother doesnt stand up to the father, then the
child may not understand the gravity of the situation and could become a perpetrator or even
worse, a murderer when he or she gets older. Research also indicates children exposed to
domestic violence are at an increased risk of being abused or neglected. Therefore, domestic
violence negatively harms children in the United States and all over the world.
Contention 5: Domestic violence harms childrens lives in many ways. These children
have three types of problems: behavioral problems, attitudinal and cognitive problems, and longterm problems

Sub Point A- The behavioral problems that these children face include aggressive
behavior, antisocial behavior, depression, and anxiety. All four of these examples negatively
harm the childs life, and without domestic violence, these problems wouldnt exist.
Sub Point B- In school, children who face domestic violence have lower grades and do
worse on assessments than other students. In the long term, this could cause a kid to lose his or
her job. With colleges getting very hard to get into, it will be even harder for these kids to get a
good education and to be successful.
Sub Point C- Because these kids experience domestic violence at a young age, these
children are proven to be more likely to be a perpetrator or victim in the future. Also, exposure
to domestic violence is proven to contribute to premature death and risk factors leading to other
kinds of death. In turn, young children experiencing domestic violence can lead to many kinds
of troubles, and it doesnt uphold the value criterion of preserving life, so then victims should be
allowed to fight back with deadly force.
In conclusion, battered people have the right to use deadly force because domestic
violence kills many people every year, restraining orders dont help, battered people have
battered people syndrome, epigenetics can change the next generation for the better and worse,
and domestic violence negatively affects children. For all of these reasons, I urge an Affirmative
ballot.