Battered Women Syndrome

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Domestic violence is often perceived as males projecting physical abuse to female victims which overlooks the psychological abuse that they also experience (Carlson and Worden, 2005). Jill is a domestic violence survivor who filed a restraining order against her husband. Jill remained with her husband despite being abused because she felt threatened to leave the relationship. Her behavior triggered battered-women syndrome. Battered- women syndrome refers to the male batter’s violent behavior patterns towards the female victims and her response towards the abuse (Walker, 1984b). This paper will show that women stay with their abuser due to the post-traumatic stress disorder, learned helplessness, and emotional intelligence. Walker (1991)…show more content…
In addition, these victims may also avoid any uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that are associated with the abuse. Battered victims will socially withdraw themselves from family, friends, and activities they use to enjoy. Walker (1991) indicated that individuals do not seek mental health treatment because they do not have a proper diagnosis of PTSD. Individuals may be in denial that their abusive relationship deeply impacted them psychologically. Without the proper diagnosis, victims believe that their unstable psychological state is common, causing them to stay with the abuser. Learned helplessness increases the likelihood that the battered victim will remain in an abusive relationship. Walker (1991) described learned helplessness as the learned psychological behavior that is shaped by unpleasant encounters. Walker (1991) also compared the behavior of battered victims in relationships with the animals who received shocks in an inescapable setting. Similar to animals, individuals will continue to stay in the inescapable environment because they assume there is no escape. The battered individual will lose motivation to leave the abusive relationship because they unconsciously accept the maltreatment. A study that examined approximately 6,000 women in battered women’s shelters revealed that women are more likely to leave their abuser if they
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