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Abstract

This note will first discuss the general principles of domestic violence and Battered Spouse Syndrome, such as the cycle of abuse and concepts like learned helplessness and hypervigilance. Next, the note will compare and contrast several methods that states in the Southeast and Pacific West have used to allow evidence of Battered Spouse Syndrome and the evidence’s effect on the states’ rule of law. Finally, the note will detail why Battered Spouse Syndrome should be used in the criminal justice system and will discuss why the federal or state legislatures, or a combination of the two, should pass laws to protect battered spouses.

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