Battered Wife (Women) Syndrome

What is Battered wife syndrome?

Battered wife syndrome is a psychological condition arises after long term domestic violence, as an outcome of continuous serious abuse. The maximum victims are usually females and often it is occurs due to gender biasness. The nature of abuse may be physical, mental or psychological. Battered wife syndrome term was given by Lenore Walker, EdD, founder of the Domestic Violence Institute before some decades and before this, the term was not clinically famous. (1)

battered Wife syndrome women person


Battered wife syndrome is a physical and mental state. Women mainly suffer with this condition, which arises due to continual physical, emotional, or sexual exploitation.

Battered wife syndrome is not suddenly arise, it is usually family abusing situation. The mechanism of abusive environment is described in three stages. In first stage, the abuser keep on busy to creates some tense situations. In second stage, the tense situation is burst out as physical, mental or sexual torture, where abuser mainly husband or partner mainly torture his wife. In third stage, is also known as “honeymoon” stage; where abuser feels sorry about his bad behavior and request his wife to forgive him. But the end result is not good , as it is again start the cycle.

battered wife women syndrome cycle

The reaction of the wife or victim is also described in four stages, which include:


If anybody ask about the abuse, the first reaction of wife or victim refuse to admit about any problem in her family life. Even the event is represented as accidental consequence. Often she justify about the bad behavior and she confidently trusts that the incidence will not happen in future.

Taking blame

When the abusing is become frequent, then gradually she tries to consider the incidence creates problem in her family life and she is responsible for this. In this stage she thinks that abusive behavior arises because she is not perfect for her husband, she cannot satisfy her husband or not fulfill all the expectations of her husband. Therefore, she deserves the violent attitude.


In this stage the woman does not presume blame herself about her husband’s abusive treatment. She keeps on trying to be normalize everything in her family life.


In this stage, the woman accept the fact that her husband will not stop himself to abuse her. The ragged woman now decides that she will not give up and try starts a new life. (1, 2, 4)


Women suffer from Battered wife syndrome often suffer along with the following symptoms:

  • Repetitive remembering of disturbing memories of the traumatic event.
  • Agitated provocation and elevated degree of anxiety
  • Escaping attitudes and freezing expression which can illustrated as depress, dissociate, isolate from others, minimization, suppressive attitude and repudiation.
  • Distressed interpersonal rapport
  • Distorted physical image and/or bodily or somatic accusations
  • Concern behavior about sexual relationship. (3)

Identification of Battered wife syndrome

The clinically Battered wife syndrome is subcategorized as Post-Traumatic – stress- Syndrome. Some or all of the DSM-IV-TR mental situation are prominent in Battered wife syndrome, which include Mental retardation, learning disorder, communication disorder, dementia, delirium or other cognitive impairment, anxiety, sleep disorder, mood swing, schizophrenic attack, eating disorder dissociative disorder and personality disorder.

The most frequent signs are categorized in six groups, including disturbing recollecting the traumatic event, hyper anxiety, disturbed interpersonal relationship, escaping behavior and emotional numbing, sexual intimacy issues and physical or somatic complaints. (3)


The suggestive treatments are as follows:


  • Vacant the place, when the situation gets repeated and tolerance level of the women become low.
  • Do not surrender, rather use women power, take help from nearby police station.
  • Before abuser disrupt the workplace or employment, inform colleagues and seniors.
  • Consult psychologist and take sessions, if mental condition of the victim become affected or get depressed.
  • Concentrate in future, if child is with the victim, then take care of them and get mentally busy. Do not become upset by thinking of past violence.
  • Take helps from friends, discuss with them, when victim need any advise. Do not hide any repetitive abusive behavior.
  • Different medicinal as well as spiritual therapy is often helpful.
  • Self love attitude is very important and do not feel alone. (5)


  1. Battered Woman’s Syndrome;
  2. Beth W. Orenstein; Understanding Battered Woman Syndrome;
  3. Lenore E. Walker, Battered Woman Syndrome;
  4. Psychology of the Battered Woman Syndrome;—264.asp
  5. Battered Woman Syndrome;

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