Battered Spouse Syndrome and Expert Testimony
Battered Spouse Syndrome is admissible through expert testimony for a self-defense claim in a homicide case. This syndrome is defined as “a series of common characteristics that appear in women who are abused physically and psychologically over an extended period of time by the dominant male figure in their lives.” See also Robinson v. State, 308 S.C. 74 (1992); S.C. Code Ann. § 17-23-170 (“Evidence that the actor was suffering from the battered spouse syndrome is admissible in a criminal action on the issue of whether the actor lawfully acted in self-defense, defense of another, defense of necessity, or defense of duress.”). · State v. Hill, 287 S.C. 398 (1986)
 SECTION 17-23-170. Admissibility of evidence concerning battered spouse syndrome; foundation; notice; lay testimony. (A) Evidence that the actor was suffering from the battered spouse syndrome is admissible in a criminal action on the issue of whether the actor lawfully acted in self-defense, defense of another, defense of necessity, or defense of duress. This section does not preclude the admission of testimony on battered spouse syndrome in other criminal actions. This testimony is not admissible when offered against a criminal defendant to prove the occurrence of the act or acts of abuse which form the basis of the criminal charge. (B) Expert opinion testimony on the battered spouse syndrome shall not be considered a new scientific technique the reliability of which is unproven. (C) Lay testimony as to the actions of the batterer and how those actions contributed to the facts underlying the basis of the criminal charge shall not be precluded as irrelevant or immaterial if it is used to establish the foundation for evidence on the battered spouse syndrome. (D) The foundation shall be sufficient for the admission of testimony on the battered spouse syndrome if the proponent of the evidence establishes its relevancy and the proper qualifications of the witness. (E) A defendant who proposes to offer evidence of the battered spouse syndrome shall file written notice with the court before trial.