Battered Wife Syndrome Lawyers
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What Is Spousal Abuse?
Spousal abuse is defined as harmful behavior between partners who are married. It can refer to abuse that happens one time or over the course of their relationship. It includes mental, emotional, verbal or economic abusive acts. The pattern of spouse abuse can be emotionally and physically damaging over time. An individual who suffers from spousal abuse may commit a criminal act such as murder or assault against his abuser.
What Is Battered Wife Syndrome?
Battered wife syndrome, also known as battered spouse syndrome or battered person syndrome, is a condition suffered by a person who has endured years of physical and verbal abuse by a spouse.
Is Battered Wife Syndrome the Same as Domestic Violence?
No, but domestic violence is often the cause of battered wife syndrome. Domestic violence is behavior by one person in a relationship used to control the other person in the relationship. This violence can happen between people who are dating or married or between family members such as a father and son. Actions classified as domestic violence include:
- Sexual assault
- Verbal abuse
- Threats of physical harm
- Actual physical harm
- Prohibiting the partner from being around family or friends
- Prohibiting the partner from working, attending events, or attending school
Can I Use Battered Spouse Syndrome as a Defense?
Yes. This syndrome can be used to show mitigating circumstances to why an individual committed a crime such as murder. A mitigating factor is defined as a way for a defendant can decrease possible penalties. It can also be used to justify criminal behavior. For example, the abused spouse may have used self-defense to justify attacking their abuser during an assault.
How Can I Use Battered Wife Syndrome in a Criminal Case?
The battered wife syndrome defense is proven via testimony in court. This testimony is presented to show imminent danger for the defendant and prove they had to immediately defend themselves from harm that may be inflicted by the victim.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Use Battered Wife Syndrome?
Although battered wife syndrome is a legitimate defense, it is usually difficult to prove. It is highly recommended that you contact a criminal lawyer to understand more about using this syndrome as a defense.
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Last Modified: 11-10-2015 01:11 PM PST
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