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Battered Women's Syndrome

            In Canada, one woman every week is murdered by her boyfriend or .
             Women who are abused live in constant fear, terrified for their own lives .
             and the lives of their children. The victim feels the abuse is her own fault, and that .
             belief is constantly weighing on her conscience, lowering her self-esteem, and .
             destroying her tenuous grip on sanity. If she can no longer take the abuse, and in .
             self-defence kills her abuser, that is not revenge, but saving the lives of her children .
             and herself. Therefore, Battered Women's Syndrome should be an accepted defence .
             in the court of law, and understood by the judge, jury, and general public.
             Conceptualized by Lenore Walker in 1979, Battered Women's Syndrome .
             (B.W.S.) describes a pattern of behavioral and psychological symptoms found in .
             women living in abusive relationships . The idea of Battered Women's Syndrome .
             has evolved from its conception in the late 70's. It was first thought of as a "learned .
             helplessness" , a condition to explain a victim's inability to protect herself against .
             the batterer's violence. Modernly, the Syndrome has been defined as Post .
             Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.T.), which is a psychological condition that is the .
             result of exposure to severe trauma. P.T.S.D. best explains that a battered victim .
             may react violently because of prior victimization and the flashbacks of other .
             "intrusive experiences" that are the result of the current abuse . This causes the .
             victim to react to a new situation as though it is dangerous, even if it is not. .
             Therefore, women who have been constantly abused and assaulted have a fragile .
             state of mind, and because of this, any criminal acts they commit in response to an .
             abusive action made by their abuser cannot be seen as their own fault, but the fault .
             of their abuser. Any judge or jury should recognize this.
             There are some who would choose to refute the Battered Women's Syndrome .

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