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Battered Woman Syndrome

Battered person syndrome is a psychological condition that results from persistent physical abuse that is used (infrequently) in criminal trials as a justification defense for homicide. Battered person syndrome is also referred to as “Battered Woman Syndrome” when the perpetrator is a woman. The term “Battered Woman Syndrome” was coined by Lenore Walker to describe distinct psychological and behavioral symptoms that result when a woman is exposed to prolonged exposure to violence at the hands of an intimate partner. When a woman who has been abused kills her abuser, the criminal defense attorney may argue that the defendant was suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome, and should therefore not be convicted of the crime as charged.

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