“Explain the Attitudes Towards Domestic Violence During the 19th Century.”(9 Marks)

In: Historical Events

Submitted By NeelamD
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During the nineteenth century, any form of physical, mental or verbal abuse by one partner towards the other was not punishable by the law. This was due to the attitudes that people had towards domestic violence during the 19th century.

One public attitude towards domestic violence was that it was acceptable to beat women as wives were subordinate to their husbands. This was evident from the fact that women had no political power until 1918. It was also evident that women were subordinate to men from the fact that at this time there was an all male police force. This suggests that men were previously seen as superior to women. Therefore, one attitude towards domestic violence was that it was acceptable as women had a lower social status.

Also, a government attitude towards domestic violence was that it was too unimportant to be dealt with by the police. This was evident from the fact that cases of domestic violence were often dealt with by the community rather than the authorities. This shows that the government saw domestic violence as insignificant so they left the issue to be dealt with by the public.

Moreover, the attitudes towards domestic violence during the nineteenth century were that it was more of a working class issue; newspapers generally only recorded domestic violence within poorer households. This was due to the fact that domestic violence was linked to drunkenness and disorder problems within the working class. Therefore, one attitude towards domestic violence during the 19th century was that it was more of an issue for the lower class.

In addition, the attitude towards domestic violence during the 19th century was that it was typical in households. This was evident from the supposed ‘rule of thumb’ whereby a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick as long as the stick had a width no bigger than his thumb. This rule shows how…...

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