LAW ET JUSTICIA LAW REVIEW
VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1
THE BATTERED WOMEN SYNDROME
Ms. ISHI ROHATGI,
OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat
The capitalist society that we live in today, emphasizes and builds upon the principles of patriarchy. A social order is established whereby men are seen as more dominant than women. Men are supposed to be masculine, strong, and aggressive and on the other hand, women are supposed to be fragile, docile, and submissive. Establishing this, there are micro-aggressions or normalized forms of violence that are faced by women on a daily basis. One form of violence that women endure is Intimate Partner Violence. Often, due to internalization of society's expectations from women, they are unable to leave abusive marriages. Moreover, they are unable to find any recourse in the legal system. Left with no choice, some women believe that the only solution they have is killing their abusive husbands. In the 1970s, the concept of Battered Women Syndrome was introduced. It aimed at justifying the killing of husbands by battered women. However, its application has resulted in lowering the credibility of women and portraying them as hysterical. The question this paper aims to answer is whether this concept reinforces the principles of patriarchy, rather than subverting them? This paper will also examine the scope of this concept within the Indian law, and its development alongside the Nallathangal Syndrome. Part I of this paper examines the context within which men feel capable to batter women. Part II will have a brief description of the concept introduced by Lenroe Walker. Part III will lay down the application and adoption of the concept in law and its criticism. Part IV will discuss the relevance of this syndrome in Indian Courts. This paper will be concluded in Part V.