How Battered Women Syndrome Can Play An Important Role In Your Self-Defense Case

Posted on: 18 August 2016

If you are involved in a marriage or partnership that is most of the times tainted by physical abuse and violence, then you may be a victim of battered women syndrome (BWS). Battered women syndrome is a mental disorder that affects victims of physical abuse and domestic violence. The syndrome was first defined years ago by Lenore Walker, who is also the person that founded Domestic Violence Institute. According to Walker, the syndrome has three phases. In the first phase, tension erupts between the partners. In the second, the woman is on the receiving end of physical abuse and battering. In the third phase, which is also known as the honeymoon phase, the abuser or the batterer asks for forgiveness and pledges to seek help.

How Do You Know That You Are A Victim of Battered Women Syndrome?

If you have gone through the three phases, then you count yourself as a victim of BWS. But on top of that, BWS has four characteristics that can classify you as a victim. One is if you believe that your partner or abuser is all powerful. Second is if you blame yourself for the abuse that you are receiving. Third is if you tolerate the abuse because you fear for your life or the lives of your children. The last characteristic is the inability to blame the batterer or the abuser. These characteristics have led to conclusions that battered women syndrome is a sub-category of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Does Battered Women Syndrome Affect Your Defense Case?

If you decide to take action against your partner for violent act, BWS can actually help you convince the judge to rule in your favor in a self-defense case. But you have to prove certain things first. For instance, you must prove to the judge that you truly believed that serious physical harm or death as a result of the violence was lurking. You must also prove to the judge that you responded reasonably to the assault.

Proving that the abuser meant to kill you or harm you in a self-defense case can be a bit difficult at times. In fact, there are times that you may require witnesses to support your claims. For example, if you hurt the abuser while he is sleeping after he threatened you in the morning that he will harm you or kill you, your case might not qualify as a self-defense case.  But if a witness testifies that you are a victim of repeated abuse, then a judge can rule that you acted reasonably when you hurt the abuser. 

For more information, contact a firm such as Alexanders Lawyers.


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