The battered woman syndrome is controversial in some psychiatry circles. Clearly, there are relationships in which one partner is emotionally, financially and/or materially dependent on an abusive individual. Over time, physical and verbal abuse defines their relationship to a damaging degree. In the context of such turmoil, the abused but dependent individual may offend against the dominant abuser, resulting in arrest. The defendant who successfully raises a battered woman or battered child defense will be less culpable; therefore, expert psychiatric assessment of the defendant using a battered woman defense aims to understand the nature of the relationship between the two parties and resolve forensic questions related to the defendants culpability.
Defenses such as the battered woman or child abuse syndrome defense may be appropriate, but a crime may actually reflect the violent nature of both partners that has been successfully distorted in a criminal court setting. The expert psychiatric assessments of battered woman forensic cases require extending beyond preconceived notions about women, children, violence and victimization. Evidence-based forensic psychiatric conclusions have far greater value to a court than an expert’s ability to guess what happened.
Peer Reviewed Battered Woman & Child Abuse Syndrome Defense Assessment
The Forensic Panel closely scrutinizes forensic evidence of the dynamics of a relationship where questions of a battered spouse or child abuse arise. Relevant forensic information examined by a forensic psychiatrist ranges from financial records, to leases and other titles, input from co-workers, family, friends, neighbors, and ex-significant others. Expert peer review of battered woman cases cements forensic conclusions with the integrity of oversight, ensuring the diligence needed to provide medical, forensic, and psychiatric certainty when an evaluation explores such contentious questions.