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A defence available only to married women who have committed a crime (other than murder or treason) in the presence of, and under pressure from, their husbands. Its scope is unclear but may be wider than that of duress in that it may cover economic and moral as well as physical pressure, though unlike duress it has to be proved (see burden of proof). If a wife is acquitted on grounds of coercion, her husband may be liable for the offence in question through his wife's innocent agency and/or for a crime involving a threat.

Subjects: Law.

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