What is Battered Woman Syndrome?
Battered Woman Syndrome is believed to be a type of Post Traumatic Stress. It is an accepted mental disorder characterized by suffering from constant and/or grave domestic brutality. To be recognized as a battered woman, a person has to have suffered two cycles of maltreatment. A cycle consists of three phases; the tension-building stage, the explosion or acute battering incident, and the honeymoon phase, which is characterized by a calm and loving respite period. This cycle will continue again and again.
Four General Characteristics (Symptoms)
The four general characteristics of Battered Woman Syndrome:
- The woman believes that the violence and abuse are her fault.
- The woman is unable to put the responsibility of the abuse elsewhere.
- The woman is afraid for her life and/or her children’s lives.
- The woman considers the abuser omnipresent and omniscient.
According to research, the spousal abuse is typically brought about by the man’s emotional insecurities, low self-esteem, and any history of family abuse rather than by problems with the relationship.
Legalities of Battered Woman Syndrome (Court Cases)
- Battered Woman Syndrome is used in criminal proceedings to prove self-defense. It concerns the mental and emotional problems of women trapped in long-standing relationships withabusive husbands or partners.
- After awhile, the violence creates a psychological condition of “learned helplessness”, restraining freedom of choice, and putting victims of violence in a coil of struggle that often leads to a brutal and at times deadly reaction over which they have no control.
- The conventional legal notion of self-defense depends on a competition of equals more characteristic of struggles between men. The advocates of the Battered Woman Syndrome defense claim traditional principles of self-defense are insufficient to give an explanation in men-women struggles.
- Although the Battered Woman Syndrome defense has been reasoned effectively in a lot of cases, it has been challenged by psychologists and legal academics.
What To Do If You Are The Victim Of Abuse?
- Make an escape out of your house by any means. Go to a friend, relative, or shelter. Bring only what you need; the rest can be restored. Remember, things are merely things.
- Get a restraining order. Do not give in even if the abuser pleads, weeps, begs forgiveness, or tries to use the children or any other tactics to get you to return. Call the police and make use of your restraining order.
- Notify your employer and workplace. Your husband will frequently come near you while you are working. He will call you at work and even attempt to disrupt your job. Let your employer know that the police are to be called when this happens.
- Look for an excellent therapist. You might have to consult one or two until you discover the appropriate one for you. Remain in therapy. This is a lengthy course. Bear in mind you have been violated for a long time and therapy will take a long time, too.
- Observe your children, check their grades and schoolwork, and note their behaviour to see if they require a therapist. Based on their ages, they may have a difficult time understanding why they can’t see their dad.
- Empower yourself. Through therapy, you will gradually begin to feel powerful, believe in your choices, and appreciate your capacities. You have suffered emotionally as well as physically.
- Learn from the past, but do not dwell on it. Create your own new path.
- Try different treatments. Medications can help you for a short period of time. Spiritual therapy and group therapy are both effective. In group therapy you will come to know different women who share the same problems. You are not alone.
- Call your friends. Even if you lost contact with them while you were being abused, you are now free and chances are they miss hearing from you.
- Call your parents and talk to them about what happened. Share the truth with them. Spend your time with your family. Their love and support will greatly help with your treatment
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Proofreaded and edited for grammar and accuracy by Andrea on 2/10/2012