(Received 18 September 1985; accepted 10 December 1985)
Published Online: October
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This paper reviews the recent medical and legal literature in the field of spouse abuse. Domestic violence is a national phenomenon that directly affects victims of spouse abuse and indirectly conditions the children of the victims to accept violent behavior as normative. This paper characterizes the cycle of violence battered women encounter, describes their injury patterns, explores the dynamics of the abusive relationship, and discusses the factors that compel women to remain in such violent relationships. The second section describes many of the recent legislation designed to prevent spouse abuse. Next, this paper addresses the case law utilizing the “battered woman syndrome” as a defense for spousal homicide. The third section of the paper explores the often neglected topic of the battered husband.
Assistant medical examiner, Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office, Detroit, MI
Stock #: JFS11919J