03/26/2013 09:05 pm ET

Jodi Arias' Domestic Violence Expert Tells Jury About Abuse

Defense lawyers again attempted to push the theory Tuesday that it was Jodi Arias, rather than the ex-boyfriend she is accused of murdering, who was the victim in the couple's on-again-off-again relationship.

The Arias legal team began setting the stage for their domestic violence defense early in the trial and stepped up their efforts Tuesday, when psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette testified about various forms of abuse in relationships.

"Woman generally say psychological and verbal abuse [is more hurtful] than physical abuse," LaViolette said.

Defense lawyers say Arias was physically and emotionally battered by Travis Alexander and feared for her life when she shot him, stabbed him nearly 30 times and cut his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa, Ariz., home on June 4, 2008.

Prosecutors say Arias, jealous of Alexander’s interest in other women, attacked him in the bathroom of his home after the couple spent the afternoon in bed making love.

During her 18 days on the witness stand, Arias testified Alexander had once choked her and broke her finger. And, on the day of the killing, he body-slammed her, she said. Arias claimed she did not tell anyone about the incidents when they occurred.

LaViolette, who was paid $300 per hour by the defense to study the case and $250 per hour to testify, said incidents of domestic violence are not typically reported to police.

"Many of the women don't make police reports. Some of the ones that do may change their mind ... It sort of depends on where they are in that whole progression of the relationship," LaViolette said.

LaViolette explained that such behavior is typical of a battered woman because they don’t want people to dislike their partner

"They don't want anybody to think they have lousy taste," she told the jury.

LaViolette had yet to get to specifics of the case by the end of court Tuesday.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 1:45 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, when LaViolette will continue her testimony.




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