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Battered Women’s Syndrome

In its 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, the Division of Violence Prevention for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States had experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. 

The phrase “battered woman syndrome” is largely credited as being coined by psychologist Lenore Walker, who wrote the book The Battered Woman, for which she won the Distinguished Media Award in 1979. 

Battered woman syndrome (occasionally abbreviated simply as BWS) has since become associated with post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) and may be used as a defense by some alleged offenders in certain domestic violence cases, although Texas law does not recognize battered woman syndrome as a specific affirmative defense. 

Instead, such defendants largely rely on claims of duress, and alleged offenders who are convicted of domestic assault or similar violent offenses against family or household members may be require to attend battering intervention and prevention programs (BIPPs).

Attorney in Georgetown, TX Discusses Battered Women’s Syndrome

If you are a battered woman who was arrested for a crime or violence or you have been accused of assaulting a woman in Central Texas, it will be in your best interest to avoid making a statement to authorities until you have legal representation. 

Law Office of Michael J. Price defends clients charged with domestic violence crimes in Taylor, Hutto, Round Rock, Georgetown, Belton, and many surrounding areas of Bell County and Williamson County. 

Georgetown criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case that results in the fewest possible consequences. 

Call (512) 354-1880 right now to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Texas Battered Women’s Syndrome Information Center


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Battered Women’s Syndrome and Duress Defense in Williamson County

In most instances in Texas, an alleged offender who hopes to utilize a battered woman syndrome claim will invoke the affirmative defense of duress. Texas Penal Code § 8.05(a) establishes that it is an affirmative defense to prosecution that an alleged offender engaged in the proscribed conduct because he or she was compelled to do so by threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to himself or another. When the offense being prosecuted does not constitute a felony, it is an affirmative that an alleged offender engaged in the proscribed conduct because he or she was compelled to do so by force or threat of force.


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Battering Intervention and Prevention Program Requirements in Georgetown 

Section 1(1) of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42.141 defines a batterer as a person who commits repeated acts of violence or who repeatedly threatens violence against another who is related to the alleged offender by consanguinity (one is a descendant of the other or they share a common ancestor) or affinity (they are married to each other or the spouse of one is related by consanguinity to the other), is a former spouse of the alleged offender, or resides or has resided in the same household with the alleged offender. 

A battering intervention and prevention program (BIPP) must: 

  • meet the guidelines adopted by the community justice assistance division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice with the assistance of the statewide nonprofit organization described by Section 3(1) of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 42.141; 
  • meet any other eligibility requirements adopted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; and 
  • provide, on a local basis to batterers referred by the courts for intervention, educational services and intervention designed to help the batterers stop their abusive behavior. 

Judges in Texas can consider BIPPs in both criminal and family law contexts. For example, an alleged offender can be required to attend a BIPP if convicted of certain domestic violence offenses, but attendance may also be required in order for parents to have access to children in family law cases.


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Battered Women’s Syndrome Resources in Texas

Hope Alliance — Hope Alliance is a Round Rock-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to ” assist those whose lives have been affected by family and sexual violence by providing services and developing partnerships that lead to hope, healing and prevention.” On this website, learn more about the organization’s services, which include emergency shelter, counseling, and primary prevention. You can also find facts relating to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Non-Profits and Social Service Agencies: Greater Austin Area — View a list of non-profits and social service agencies in Austin, Georgetown, and Round Rock compiled by the Southwestern University Office of Civic Engagement. Sections include several listings for agencies relating to abuse, crisis, and special needs. Most listings include phone numbers and website addresses.


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Find a Battered Women’s Syndrome Defense Lawyer in Georgetown, TX

Were you arrested for an act of violence against a woman or are you a woman accused of a violent crime in Central Texas? Contact Law Office of Michael J. Price before saying anything to authorities. 

Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgetown who represents individuals in communities all over Williamson County and Bell County, including Leander, Harker Heights, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, and several others. 

You can have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (512) 354-1880 or complete an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.

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