Domestic Violence Is Not Only About Using Physical Force

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I. Introduction
Domestic violence is considered a crime in the United States and in many other countries around the world. Every 15 seconds, there is a woman being beaten by her husband or intimate partner. When we think of domestic violence, our minds automatically create an image of a male physically abusing a female. Although in most cases the victim is usually a female, we must also be aware that in today’s society, men are also victims of domestic violence. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, about 3.2 million men are abused by their partners each year (Domestic). However, this is only an estimate based on reported incidents. It is also extremely important to understand that domestic violence, is not only
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Although, forensic psychology was founded decades ago, it still remains as one of the more recent branches of psychology. The contribution of a forensic psychologist plays a critical role in the process of many crime investigations. The most important task of a forensic psychologist is conducting psychological assessments of any suspect involved in a crime case, including children. For that reason, a forensic psychologist must have a strong foundation of both clinical skills and law training (Ward, 2013).
III. Battered Woman Syndrome One of the most common defense arguments used in domestic violence homicide crimes, is the act of self-defense due to battered woman syndrome (BWS). Battered woman syndrome is a theory that was developed by clinical psychologist, Dr. Lenore Walker during the 1970’s. Her approach towards BWS explains why battered women kill their abusive partners, instead of ending the relationship. According to Dr. Walker, many victims of domestic violence find it difficult to end an abusive relationship due to “learned helplessness” (Rodgers, 2017). Dr. Walker also discovered that most women with BWS follow a pattern called “The Cycle of Violence”. She explains that the cycle consists of three different stages:
The tension building stage, the acute battering incident stage and the honeymoon stage. In the first stage, victims cover up for the partner’s abuse toward family and friends. This leads

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