When you hear the phrase “battered woman syndrome” what comes to mind? Even if you aren’t familiar with this mental disorder, it’s important to realize just how serious it is.

While any woman can become a victim of domestic violence, it’s also possible for battered woman syndrome to set in at some point.

Maybe you’re a career woman who has devoted your entire life to earning money for your family, ensuring that everyone can live a good life. Even if you have a lot going for you with respect to your career and children, it’s possible for things to take a turn for the worse when it comes to the relationship with your husband.

Generally speaking, battered woman syndrome does not come about after one instance of domestic violence. Instead, this disorder develops in victims of serious, targeted, long term abuse.

There is no scientific answer as to how battered woman syndrome develops. While some women are able to deal with many years of abuse without developing the disorder, others find that this becomes a problem in a relatively short period of time (such as several months).

There are three stages in the cycle of battered woman syndrome:

  • The abusers engages in behavior that creates tension and stress between the couple.
  • The tension and stress boils over, thus leading to a situation in which the abuser inflicts some type of abuse. This can include physical, psychological emotional, and sexual abuse.
  • The abuser tries to make things right by explaining his actions, apologizing, and promising to avoid the same behavior in the future.

Despite the final stage in which the person apologizes, this doesn’t typically do anything to break the cycle. Instead, once another problem arises, the violence sets in once again.

On the flipside of all this, there is the person who is accused of abuse. This individual, although he may have made mistakes in the past, may not be guilty of committing a crime.

Instead, there is some type of misunderstanding, such as a situation in which the man had to use force to defend himself.

A woman who is the victim of domestic violence has the right to protect herself by contacting law enforcement.

On the same token, a man who is charged with this crime needs to know his rights. Even if there was one incident based on a misunderstanding, it can have a big impact, such as an injunction for protection and the inability to spend time with you r children.

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