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The Battered Woman Syndrome and Criminal Law The Battered Woman Syndrome and Criminal Law The purpose of this research paper is to prove that criminal law in America has failed to provide a defense that adequately protects women suffering from Battered Womens Syndrome Battered Womens Syndrome or BWS is a very complex psychological problem facing criminal courts today and has caused great debate on whether or not it should even be allowed in the courtroom Although the syndrome has been given more consideration as a warranted issue by society those who create our laws and control our courtrooms have not developed a defense that sufficiently protects these women United States courtrooms instead of protecting battered women have put these women on trial and found them guilty of murder The research is divided into four parts to better illustrate each individual topic and to provide for a more clear understanding of the material The first analysis describes Battered Womens Syndrome and gives background information on its origin The second part of the research affords case examples of battered womens trials the defenses used and the resulting verdicts The third segment 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 supporters and critics 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 Part I THE BIRTH OF A SYNDROME The theories and explanations for battered womens behavior started in the late 1970s as a result of the oppression of women Feminist movements in the late 1970s caused great social uproar among legal and political bodies of government in the United States Many social problems that women faced started to surface and the public began to notice the increasing number of battered and abused women This new
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