CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


Forensic Evaluations of Battered Women Defendants: Relevant Data to be Applied to Elements of Self-Defense


There has been no model of the relevant information that forensic experts should collect from battered women defendants for testifying in court in support of self-defense claims. This article proposes such a model, addressing the mental state of battered women at the time they killed their partners. Many killings of partners by battered women should be considered appropriate for self-defense claims, even when the fact situations do not appear to fit “classic” self-defense criteria. Forensic experts have an important role in bringing jurors to an understanding of how many battered womens' actions resulting in the death of a partner actually fit self-defense laws by explaining the fit between the facts of the case and the typical criteria of self-defense.

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1996

Notes/Citation Information

Published in Applied and Preventive Psychology, v. 5, issue 3, p. 165–178.

Dr. Diane Follingstad had not been a faculty member of the University of Kentucky at the time of publication.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)