Talk:Battered woman defense

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Political statements?[edit]

Certain statements in the article defining men as "culturally predisposed to violence" and something about murdering husbands in their sleep not being aquitted as self-defence because the "evil patriarchy" won't allow it strike me as very biased, and possibly even political propaganda. While one may argue about the truth of those points, it is not the duty of this article to do anything other that describe the facts, which those statements certainly do not. Because of that I would prefer that they be removed. --TheOtherStephan 21:59, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Medical condition[edit]

If this is a medical condition, some medical information should present: what is the classification under DSM, what is it medical definition, how to cure it, what are the symptoms or warning signs, how to prevent it, what doctor first described it etc. Otherwise, this is a pseudo-medicine used for legal defence. --Urod 20:32, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I have added the DSM and removed the tag. Perhaps "cite source" would have been a better tag? David91 02:42, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

This was not DSM but ICD. More important, the reference leads to "Adult physical abuse", classified under "INJURY AND POISONING" [1]. In other words, this is not a psychological disease at all. I added the relevant info and removed the tag.

"With respect, it is a recognised psychological condition arising from an external physical cause. If you wish to dispute this classification, please produce verifiable authority. David91 02:29, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

David91I am not a psychologist so I am happy to listen to one more expert than I on this issue. The URL http://icd9.chrisendres.com/index.php?action=search&srchtext=995.81 clearly shows ICD9 code 995.81 as including "battered person/man/spouse syndrome NEC". I accept that following the coding leads to physical descriptors rather than psychological. As a lawyer (now retired), my understanding is that a person physically battered over time within code 995.81 is likely to present with standard psychological symptoms, and that both physical and psychological symptomology combined constitutes the syndrome. Is that not the case for psychological purposes as well? I would be interested if you could refer me to verifiable authority on this so that I may add to my store of knowledge (even though it is no longer of any use, I still have curiosity). For my POV, I am relying on Roth D. L. & Coles E. M. (1995) "Battered woman syndrome: a conceptual analysis of its status vis a vis DSM-IV mental disorders". Medicine and Law. Vol. 14(7-8): pp641-658. Many thanks. David91 06:34, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Jordan[edit]

I believe some mention ought to be made of feminist attorney Susan B. Jordan, who is credited with originating the Battered woman's defense in the United States.--Rockero420 18:41, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

OR?[edit]

Can we get a source on the "criticisms" subsection of the "Theory" section? As it is, it sounds like original research. Thanks.--Rockero420 23:49, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

If you would care to specify which element since any given sentence may be referenced by one or more of the references given, I will clarify the particular source. David91 06:01, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Mostly I was wondering who had criticized Walker's research. Right now they are just identified as critics. Specifically,
"The data on perpetrators was provided from the perspective on the victim.
There was no control group in Walker's studies.
Finally, Walker's study has never been replicated."
--Rockero420 07:14, 24 February 2006 (UTC)


My apologies for not including the references. I am adding them now. David91 08:00, 24 February 2006 (UTC)


Battered person syndrome[edit]

This should have been discussed before making the move. Although I accept that there is a medical condition under the "person" heading (which some psychologists deny includes the legal defence: see above on this talk page), this is predominantly a law page and the law is exclusively gender specific in using this term which was coined by a woman to describe a condition in women. There is no legal case in which a battered man has been allowed the defence. Almost without exception throughout the page, battered woman or wife is used and the formal references cited are almost entirely gender specific save one which points to "battered defendant". Thus, I have reverted this unilateral change. If you wish to make it, I ask you please to justify yourself with something other than mere prejudice. There are many "terms of art" that are gender specific. We can all regret that. But I notice that you did not seek to change every incidence of battered woman/wife in the text. Why did you leave all those sexist usages and only change the title and those in first explanatory passage? If the usage so offends you, you should have changed every incidence save the titles to the references which I assume that you would have respected. Rationality and consistency are called for here, so I await your detailed explanation with interest. Further, if you are going to move, best practice is that you also change the links to avoid the redirect. David91 02:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I acknowledge that statistically woman are in the greater numbers regarding battered syndrome, and therefore when examples are mentioned, it is not unreasonable to refer to women. I think we have two options, either we move the article to "Battered person syndrome", or we create a new article "Battered person syndrome" which is almost an exact copy of this article. Battered person syndrome exists, and I believe has replaced what was originally called "battered woman syndrome", as the word "person" encompases both men and women. --Rebroad 12:57, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I see no problem in forking into the medical/psychological which expressly uses "Battered person syndrome" as its term of art, and retaining "Battered woman syndrome" for the legal since the law has never used ""Battered person", actually preferring "Battered defendant" in more modern academic and policy discussions. However, every single case and the majority of the written sources use gender specific terminology, and no case in any jurisdiction that I am aware of has ever applied the defence to a man, so duplicating the material is pointless. Thus, I leave it to you to create the separate page since I have no medical expertise. You can use the reference I have cited on the talk page above to extract material on the debate about the medical/legal intersection on the definition of the condition. Good talking to you. David91 14:01, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Wiki is supposedly built on consensus rathe r than arbitrary unilateralism but I have indulged you to the extent that I have created a new page for Battered person syndrome which I hope you will agree, serves the purpose. If you do not agree, I invite you to offer reasons. Write a sentence beginning, "I think we should do this because..." David91 02:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree completely with David91. This article is predominantely on the criminal defense of battered woman syndrome - this is used in a relatively rare subset of trials where a woman is charged with a crime against a batterer. The psychological aspects of a relationship in which one partner is battered belong in a different article (and battered person syndrome seems fine for that). Massive changes that go against the consensus of the editors of this page should be discussed here first, or they will likely meet swift reversion. BD2412 T 17:16, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I also agree with David91 and BD2412. There seems to be sufficient information to talk about the term in separate articles (medical and legal). Gflores Talk 18:14, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
I note that unilateral changes have been made again without attempt to discuss the issue. For example, if Rebroad wishes to argue that the defence has been successfully invoked by any man in any jurisdiction, please cite the case and that will add some substance to the complaint that the term is unreasonably gender biased. But if Rebroad cannot cite a case in which a man has even attempted to invoke this defence, then Rebroad should accept the term as it is used in the courts as reflecting the reality that the judges see before them. Men plead self-defence and provocation in an excessively gender-biased way. How else are the courts to begin to correct for this injustice than by offering women an alternative? David91 17:17, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
This and similar articles regarding the legal defence available to persons subjected to chronic battery ought to be reorganized in general, but I'd like to address this article in particular for the moment. While I do not dispute the benefit of distinguishing the condition from the defence, I am opposed to the use of the term Battered women defence as the title and subject of this article. I posit that references ought to be changed to Battered person defence, Battered person syndrome (law), Battered syndrome defence, etc.
In United States criminal law, this defence is not exclusive women. This was famously demonstrated (and criticized), when the defence was invoked by the Menendez Brothers. There is considerable case history of children asserting the "battered person defence." Claims that battered child syndrome is a distinctly different defence, while still contesting the use of a broader term covering adult males is mere semantic game-playing.
Pointing to a lack of published opinions where the defence was invoked by adult males is insufficient evidence to support the contention that that the defence excludes them. The current tests as matters of law to evaluate a battered person defence are mutually applicable to either gender. A mere lack of popularity of use in cases of adult males suggests more about the biases of defence attorneys (and perhaps juries) than it does about the existence of the defence itself. It could easily be analogized to the false, but once frighteningly frequent claim that there is no such thing as a heterosexual female rapist. Just because you don't hear about it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Above I read a comment positing that Wikis are built on the principle of consensus. I could not disagree more. Wikis are built on reference. Original research meeting popular consensus is nonetheless original research and thus has no business on Wikipedia. In that spirit, I point to Michael Riccardi's article from the New York Law Journal of December 8, 1999 entitled Battered Woman's Syndrome Applies to Men Too, Judge Finds. Concerning People v. Colberg, 701 N.Y.S.2d 608 (N.Y. Co. Ct. 1999), Judge Labuda held, "If the claimed elements of being 'battered' are the same regardless of the relationship between the parties or their gender then there is no reason to limit admissibility of expert testimony in a 'battered syndrome' case to only women or children." I will also point to [Georgia State University's Law Library]'s website on the subject.
That all said, does the battered person defence originate from battered wife defence and subsequent to that the battered women defence? Absolutely. Furthermore, the article should have a history section in which this origin is explored. However, that in no way alters the available applications of the defence, which are currently gender-neutral, regardless of whether juries opt to sympathize with them or not. Over the next couple days, I hope to amend this article accordingly.CheshireKatz 23:01, 12 March 2007 (UTC)


There's no such defense, period. People v. Colberg did NOT rule that there is such a defense, that's just false. The judge ruled that expert testimony could not be excluded based on gender. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.25.63.239 (talk) 16:57, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Osland v The Queen[edit]

Using this case as an example of gender bias is a shamefully deceptive trick. Heather Osland was convicted of murder and her son was aquitted because there was compelling evidence admitted that her actions were premeditated by a period of weeks, approaching several men to kill her husband before she approached her son. Also it is thought that David Osland may have been strongly coersed into participating by his mother. Whether the judges were right or not, there can be many credible reasons for the discrepancy than sexism, the most logical of course being that they had two different judges who judged in different ways and two different defense councils who advocated in different ways rather than their respective genders.

Also, the quote from Justices Gaudron and Gummo has been hacked and chopped so much by whoever "quoted" it that hardly a whole sentance remains intact, it just doesn't make any sence whatsoever. Compare: Gaudron and Gummo JJ:

The evidence was that there is a body of knowledge with respect to abusive relationships based on research initially undertaken in the United States of America by Dr Lenore Walker. That reveals a pattern of responses contrary to what an ordinary person might expect. An ordinary person might reason that if the woman did not report the abusive behaviour or stayed in the relationship, it was not one involving violence or abuse. Here, the prosecution suggested exactly that of the relationship between Heather and Frank.

Bad wikipedia editor:

The evidence of Dr. Byrne was that there is a reliable body of knowledge and experience with respect to persons living in abusive relationships based on research initially undertaken in the United States of America by Dr. Lenore Walker. And it was Dr. Byrne's evidence that that knowledge reveals a pattern of responses or reactions on the part of battered women…. Certain of those responses are contrary to what an ordinary person might expect. For example, an ordinary person would very likely reason that, if the woman concerned did not report the violent and abusive behaviour or stayed in the relationship, it was not one involving violence or abuse... or, at least, not violence or abuse of the severity claimed.

Kinda different yeah?

And this isn't driveby vandalism either, it's been here for years. It's sad nobody spotted it. Kinda makes you wonder.

Scarlet1 August 2006, 10:23 (UTC)

The term does not explain the well-document behavior. It only labels it. Can somebody please a good explanation. Andries 18:36, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Defence vs Defense[edit]

Could someone give me a refresher as to which one we are using? And if we choose one, can we maintain usage of one or the other. The title of the article is "Defence" but in the article, "defense" is used. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Goldy496 (talkcontribs) 21:20, 7 January 2007 (UTC).

American spelling was original although the move of 01:28, 15 March 2006(moved Battered woman syndrome to Battered woman defence: Move to title that reflects that this article is solely about the legal defense.) is confused. Paul foord 01:46, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
It would seems different spelling is required for the 'UK' and 'Canada' sections, ect. Maybe the across-jurisdiction spelling is not important, just as 'he/she' in law are interchangable. Changing the spelling to either may be undesirable to others. Bamkin 18:48, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

US section[edit]

I was just wondering why the only info on the US is linked. In trying to research this topic, I didn't find the links extremely helpful. Also, the US Congress has officially rejected using Battered Woman Defense in the US courts as of 1997, but there's nothing on this page about that. The links actually indicate that it's a fine defense to use. Also, isn't it not a defense but an argument used to help when claiming self-defense? I think this page might need updating. Liz1of113 (talk) 04:18, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Legal defense or not?[edit]

"The battered woman defense is a legal defense representing that ...
"(...)
"Again, Battered Women Syndrome is not a legal defense, ..."

One of the two must be wrong. Could someone please correct the article? --Ibn Battuta (talk) 22:54, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


It's not a defense, period. A defendant can not enter a defense of BPS anywhere in the United States. This article is just the same as many wiki articles: incorrect and poorly written to boot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.25.63.239 (talk) 16:50, 7 June 2014 (UTC)