provocation

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

The act of inciting another person to do a particular thing. In a fault divorce, provocation may constitute a defense to the divorce, preventing it from going through. For example, if a wife suing for divorce claims that her husband abandoned her, the husband might defend the suit on the grounds that she provoked the abandonment by driving him out of the house. In criminal law, provocation can be a defense that justifies an acquittal, mitigated sentence, or reduction of conviction to a lesser charge (for instance, from murder to manslaughter).

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.