Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

Feminism: chat

Battered Woman Syndrome - I am uncertain about this phrase

5 replies

Nothavingfunrightnow · 23/04/2021 09:49

I don't know why I don't like this phrase and I must admit that I have not read much about it yet. I wondered if anyone on this board had any views on it that they could share with me?

I wonder if the phrase is sexist? Does it perpetuate the victimhood of women or is it a sufficiently strong enough syndrome to stand as is?

To put this in context, I sat in on a presentation recently and one of the participants referred to Battered Woman Syndrome and it seemed to jar with me and felt out of touch and old fashioned.

I would appreciate hearing people's thoughts on this.

OP posts:

Malin52 · 23/04/2021 10:05

It's ostensibly a legal concept. First coined in R v Ahluwahlia that allowed the defence of diminished responsibility to murder. Previously the defence of provocation needed to be contemporaneous to the event. However that concept of 'Battered Woman Syndrome' ensured there was a defence for women who have been mentally or physically abused over a long period so cumulative abuse rather a single provocative act permitted the defence.

It was coined in the 1990s so not the best term but is a significant feminist achievement in criminal law. Many women have use the concept as a solid defence


Nothavingfunrightnow · 23/04/2021 10:07

Ah, yes, I see! Thanks, Malin52. That makes perfect sense.

OP posts:

Malin52 · 23/04/2021 10:08

Although there is now a push for 'battered persons syndrome' as a phrase. Not sure which one feels right!!


Nothavingfunrightnow · 23/04/2021 10:13

Yep, good point. So many women's rights are being run over roughshod in the name of supposed equality.

"If you want equality, then you better bloody accept the equality we give you!"

OP posts:

Bellringer · 22/05/2021 11:06

It's old fashioned. Indicates woman is the 'subject' Survivor (or victim) of domestic abuse, used in daily language indicates perpetrator.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?