Domestic violence is a phenomenon that has taken place worldwide for many centuries. Despite the fact that the nature of such violence differs according to the location and point in time, research indicates that female victims' understanding of the experience and ability to cope are substantially comparable across culture (Russo, Koss, & Goodman, 1995; Walker, 1999). In order to aid in changing societal attitudes and beliefs about domestic violence it is crucial to identify the current commonalities and differences in cross-cultural experiences of battering. Consequently, this would establish a foundation for the endorsement of a universal interest in establishing prevention and intervention programs to assist victims and perpetrators.
A review of the literature appears to support a similar cross-national picture of violence against women as it relates to women's rights, gender equality, and social pressures. The presentation of battered women also appears analogous in the United States, Greece, Russia, and Spain, to include the elements of fear for the self and children, power and control issues, assuming responsibility for the relationship failure, having an inadequate support system, and developing an acute appraisal of imminent danger. There is good evidence of generational history of abuse, stigma and blame aimed at the victims, and the women's hope that the relationship will get better, and other unique dynamics, which compel her to remain in that relationship.
Although battered women's presentation is similar cross-culturally, some components of their symptoms cluster continue to be poorly understood and debated. For instance, it is difficult to assess whether some of their symptoms are pathological overreactions linked to past abuse, or rather objective reactions (and even potentially life-preserving reactions) to a real threat of danger in their present circumstances. Indeed, in the literature, one of the most debated constituents of Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) is its connection to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The present study investigates the connection between the content of abuse incidents and the women's reported PTSD symptomatology. Furthermore, the battered women are compared cross-nationally with regards to their reported PTSD symptomatology, as measured on the Battered Woman Syndrome Questionnaire (BWSQ; Walker, 1984, 2000). Results confirmed the hypothesis that PTSD in battered women is a cross-national phenomenon.