Difference between self-defense and syndrome testimony.
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#1) Discuss the difference between self-defense and syndrome testimony.
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Self-defense entail defending yourself against someone who has attacked you once or numerous times. While syndrome testimony is when you have suffered from abuse for a long time and suddenly you snapped and take action against the perpetrator. This is usually seen in battered women syndrome and sometimes in child abuse cases, where once the child reaches a certain age they can take the abuse any longer and harms the person who has been causing the abuse. The syndrome testimony as well as the self-defense have to be proven in a court of law.
The act of self-defense is that a person who believes that imminent bodily harm is going to take place and that their response was reasonable to the danger. Syndrome testimony is the explanation by the expert about the psychological syndrome of the defendant. Typically this testimony is used in in the cases of battered woman syndrome where claiming self defense typically does not work. The reason behind this is that typically these women have been in danger countless times before and never acted. However, if they end up killing the abuser it is not always during a violent attack but rather when they believe one is coming. Due to the fact that they were not in imminent danger at the time of the killing expert testimony is needed to explain the circumstances of the situation.