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Expert Witness Services from a Forensic Psychologist – New York, NY

PTSD, Emotional Damage, Criminal Behavior, & Other Specialties

  Dr. Heller is the name to trust for expert witness services in New York, NY. Depend on him for extensive knowledge of Battered Woman Syndrome, domestic violence psychology, and many more related issues.  

Battered Woman Syndrome

Dr. Charles Heller has specialized knowledge and is widely considered an expert in all areas of domestic violence. He is trusted to provide consultation and expert witness testimony to attorneys in the analysis of intimate partner violence in criminal, civil, and family court cases.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most current term for describing the abuse of women in various types of relationships. The concept of IPV evolved from the older concept of Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS). Both terms pertain to domestic or relationship abuse. IPV and BWS both describe a pattern of behavior used by one partner to maintain control and power over the other partner in intimate relationships. As illustrated here, the Power and Control Wheel describe the common occurrences in an abusive relationship (Domestic Abuse Intervention Project).

By reviewing the various sectors of the Power and Control Wheel, Dr. Heller addresses specific abuse characteristics of any relationship in order to illustrate how perpetrators use coercion, power, and mental and physical abuse to control the victim of IPV.


Dr. Heller has the necessary training and experience to perform a 'Danger Assessment' to gauge the level of risk and potential lethality of an abusive relationship (Campbell et al. 2009). He earned his certification in the use of the 'Danger Assessment' and the 'Levels of Danger Scoring' from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. This allows him to evaluate the level of danger in cases of domestic violence.

Dr. Heller helps juries and judges understand the original term 'Battered Woman Syndrome' (Walker, 1979), as well as other expanded explanations or descriptions of IPV. It is important to note that BWS is not a clinical diagnosis and provides a somewhat pathology-focused and stereotypical emphasis when describing women who are battered. The field of domestic violence has since evolved. Today, it tends to remove emphasis from the syndrome-based model, which does not consider deviations that manifest in the complex behavior of battered women or variations in the original cyclical theory as described by Walker. The broader concept of IPV includes and addresses social, cultural, and clinically diagnosable PTSD symptoms that are commonly observed in battered women. The terms IPV and BWS both help explain the victim's history of fear and abuse, and both concepts assert that abuse can result in battered women killing their abusive partners. Additionally, both concepts outline that battered women are likely to commit another crime as a result of the control and coercion perpetrated by their abusers.

In summary, IPV is a different term for describing domestic violence compared to BWS, which does not account for many of the complex variables observed in situations of domestic violence. Note, however, that courts accept the term Battered Woman Syndrome due to its general acceptance in the psychology field. It is unsurprising that the American Psychological Association filed an amicus brief in a murder trial because Lenore Walker was unallowed to provide testimony about BWS. The issue revolved around whether expert testimony on BWS is admissible to help establish self-defense claims in murder cases. In the amicus brief, the APA described the research used in BWS and supported the use of BWS testimony. BWS has achieved general scientific and practical acceptance within the psychology field through the decades, and courts have ruled it admissible in trial.


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Manhattan Office (Mailing Address)

Two Park Avenue, 20th Floor

New York, NY 10016


New Jersey Office (Alternate Mailing Address)

140 East Ridgewood Avenue, South Tower, Suite 415

Paramus, NJ 07652


Westchester County Office (Not for Mail Service)

520 White Plains Road, Suite 500

Tarrytown, NY 10591


Service Area

New York, New Jersey, and Nationally 



(332) 333-5925

(845) 354-0535 — Offices in Orange & Rockland Counties

Disclaimer: Our services are for attorneys only. Dr. Heller does not reply or give advice directly to consumers, litigants, or students. Ask your attorney to contact us directly. If this is a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.