You were probably attracted to the headline because of your familiarity with the television series of the same name. However, "desperate housewives" exist in real life, and a phenomenon known to psychiatrists and psychologists as the "Battered Wife Syndrome" has received quite a lot of attention from our criminal courts in recent years. In fact, it’s reached the stage where women who murder their husbands or partners at the end of a long history of physical, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse have been given what amounts to their own set of laws, in the sense that they’re judged by different societal standards from other so-called "murderers".