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Battered Woman's Syndrome

battered woman's syndrome n

: the psychological symptoms suffered by a woman repeatedly abused by a mate (as a husband) NOTE: Battered woman's syndrome is used as a defense to violent criminal charges (as homicide). Evidence of repeated abuse is used to show that the defendant acted in self-defense even though the threat or danger was not imminent. Battered woman's syndrome is also used as a mitigating factor in sentencing.


Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.