Battered Woman Syndrome: How Courts View Domestic Violence Survivors Differently

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 11:56am
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 12:53pm
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Earlier in January, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for a Tucson woman who has been convicted three times for illegally buying a gun for her violent ex-boyfriend.

Why? The court said she should have been allowed the chance to present evidence from a domestic violence expert on battered woman syndrome in her defense.

Lashay Marie Lopez does not deny that she used her twin sister’s ID to illegally buy a gun for her ex, but, according to Cronkite News, the court denied expert testimony that would have allowed jurors to understand why battered women remain with abusive men and why Lopez didn’t go to the police for help.

So, what is battered woman syndrome? And how has it changed the way the courts see survivors of domestic violence?

For more on that, The Show spoke with Alesha Durfee, an associate professor in the School of Social Transformation at ASU.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233

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