Approximately one in three women in the United States will fall victim to domestic violence in her lifetime. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately thirty-nine percent of female homicide victims in the United States; an intimate partner only killed 2.8% of male homicide victims. Battered Woman Syndrome (“BWS”) has received broad recognition in an effort to help factfinders better understand how battered women perceive their relationships, and opportunities for escape from abuse, as well as reactions to the cycle of violence. Before the introduction of expert testimony regarding BWS was admissible at trial, women who killed their partners were unable to plead self-defense and often pled guilty or claimed an impaired mental state defense.
Kristen L. Stallion,
No Less a Victim: A Call to Governor Nixon to Grant Clemency to Two Missouri Women,
81 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol81/iss1/23