Victims of Crime

Essay by trejtherUniversity, Master'sA+, June 2005

download word file, 15 pages 5.0

The Battered Woman Syndrome and Criminal Law

Criminal law in America has failed to provide a defense that adequately protects women who suffer from Battered Women's Syndrome. Battered Women's Syndrome, or BWS, has caused great debate on whether or not it should be allowed in the courtroom. It is a very complex psychological problem facing criminal courts today. Although the syndrome has been given more consideration, as a warranted issue by society, those who control our courtrooms and create our laws have not developed a defense that sufficiently protects these women. Instead of protecting battered women, United States courtrooms have put these women on trial and found them guilty of murder.

Four points will be examined to provide a clear understanding of the information. The first analysis gives background information on its origin and describes Battered Women's Syndrome. The second segment of the research introduces case examples of battered women's trials, the defenses used, and the resulting verdicts.

The third part produces data on newly developed defenses and how they would help women justify or excuse their actions. The final portion of the research presents some of the different views held by critics and supporters of BWS. The conclusion of the research is based only on the data that was collected and provides some personal explanations for the problems facing battered women today.

The theories and explanations for battered women's behavior started in the late 1970's as a result of the oppression of women. Feminist movements in the late 1970's caused great social uproar among legal and political bodies of government in the United States. Many social problems women faced started to surface and the public began to notice the increasing number of battered women in the United States.

Although the research on battered women had just begun, many American...