One of the difficult issues in dealing with abuse is the issue of rodef (pursuer) and the associated issue of self-defense. Rodef has acquired a problematic status because Rabin's assassin used the concept as justification for killing Rabin.
1) Is rodef a commonsense expression of the right to self-defense or is it a special halacha which we would only have because of a Torah verse and Chazal's explanation.
2) Does the status of rodef require a beis din or can anyone make the decision (extra-judiciarly) and consequently kill or maim someone who is a threat?
3) Does rodef require a clear and present danger or is it enough for a reasonable person to suspect that his life is at stake.
4) Can anyone stop a rodef or is it only permitted for the potential victim.
5) A pregnant woman who is having a difficult birth which endangers her life is allowed to kill the baby - but only until it's head comes out. At that point the baby is no longer considered a rodef - but Heaven is. What is the distinction?
6) If abuse doesn't cause the victim to commit suicide or involve a sin punished by kares or death - is the abuser still a rodef and thus can be killed or maimed if that is the only way to stop him?
7) Does it matter which of the sources the law of rodef is derived 1) Rape of a betrothed maiden (Sanhedrin 73a). 2) Burglar breaking into one's home (Sanhedrin 72b). 3) Don't stand idly by the blood of your brother (Vayikra 19:16) 4) Two men who are fighting (Devarim 25:11). 5) Difficult labor (Shulchan Aruch 425:2) 6) Commonsense- self defense.
8) Does the threat have to be direct or can it be indirect?
9) If the rodef model is used - can the abuser only be threatened before committing abuse - or even afterwards.
10) What is the difference between viewing abuse as rodef and viewing it a threat to public welfare?
11) Is the status of rodef severely limited by the laws of modern secular society? For example can anyone maim or kill someone trying to commit rape [of a man woman or child] according to secular law?