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Battered women make up what is one of the most marginalized groups in society Their relationship experiences sometimes bring these women into conflict with the law especially when they kill their abusive partners Battered woman syndrome was developed in the 1970s by a clinical psychologist and was created to describe the cycle of events that abused women often go through in their relationships In Canadian law it is recognized in the context of other defenses bringing battered women syndrome into the courtroom involves the use of well-prepared proof It has become obvious in the past that women have been treated in a stereotypical way by the Canadian courts Their circumstances and needs were not fully taken into account Before changes in the law in 1990 there was a gendered construction of the self-defense doctrine that evaluated females against a male standard of reasonableness This problem was intended to be put to the end with the Supreme Court decision in Rv Lavallee With all these changes especially Lavallee the justice system was working to become more considerate to the specific experiences of women who had been victimized However the question is how are battered women in particular treated by the criminal system today While the significance of Lavalle cannot be taken too lightly as it brought an important point to the attention of the courts it has not been shown that the decision has put an end to biases that are problems for battered women in the justice system Specifically this paper will address the following Has the Canadian criminal justice system become more sensitive to the troubles of battered women or has the prosecutorial process become more harsh in its acceptance of the battered woman syndrome as a criminal defense Through the examination of the law and the success of the battered woman syndrome since Lavallee it will be shown that the prosecution process has not become more considerate to battered women and that more
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