Spousal abuse is harmful behavior that occurs between married partners. It can be an isolated incident, or it can recur over the course of a marriage. Patterns of spousal abuse can be extremely physically and emotionally damaging, and a victim may commit criminal acts against an abuser. In this article, readers will learn about battered spouse syndrome, which is a condition suffered by those who have endured prolonged spousal abuse.
Are Battered Spouse Syndrome and Domestic Violence the Same?
The two conditions are not the same, but DV can cause battered spouse syndrome. Domestic violence is defined as controlling behavior exhibited by one partner over the other. Actions considered domestic violence include:
- Sexual battery
- Verbal abuse
- Threatened harm
- Actual harm
Other behaviors may constitute domestic violence, such as making one question their sanity, sexuality or intelligence. There are many ways for an abuser to harm their partner, and almost all can result in battered spouse syndrome.
Can a Defendant Claim Battered Spouse Syndrome as a Legal Defense?
The syndrome can be used by Criminal Defense Attorneys in Kankakee to demonstrate mitigating circumstances when one faces charges for a serious crime such as murder. Mitigating factors are ways for defendants to reduce possible criminal penalties, and they can be used to validate criminal behavior. For instance, a battered spouse may have struck back at their abuser in self-defense.
Using Battered Spouse Syndrome in Criminal Proceedings
The battered spouse defense is proven via court testimony, which is presented to prove that the defendant was in imminent danger and had to protect themselves from physical harm by the alleged victim. Those in abusive relationships that end in serious injury or death should check out this site to consult Criminal Defense Attorneys in Kankakee for help in using the battered spouse defense.
Does a Defendant Need an Attorney to Use the Battered Spouse Defense?
Although battered spouse syndrome is considered a usable defense, it can be exceedingly difficult to prove. It is best for a client to consult a criminal defense attorney to learn more about using this syndrome as a possible defense to criminal activity.