- Published: June 5, 2015
The Battered Woman Syndrome is a psychosocial condition that has arisen in the criminal justice system frequently as of late. Living in a violent relationship has caused many women to suffer a great deal of emotional stress that, according to psychiatrists and neuroscientists, will indubitably lead to irrational actions, usually murder. What makes such cases particularly interesting is the question of such a syndrome’s validity. Can beating and abuse truly cause the mind, and therefore actions, to change? Many abused women who have murdered their husbands have claimed that they had no choice and began noticing different, more morbid, thinking patterns. Questions still exist as to the true neuroscientific foundation of the syndrome, which necessitates research in this yet unexplored area from an empirical perspective. As terrible as it may seem, it is not impossible that a woman who has truly not been affected by abuse kills her husband and uses Battered Woman Syndrome as a means of escaping a sentence. A neuroscientific study on this issue will mitigate the differences between severe disorder and acts of vengeance. This will reach the heart of the matter in neuroscience and law, which is not to exculpate but rather to seek reasonable truth.
Walker, Lenora. “The Battered Woman Syndrome.” 2nd. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2000.