The comprehensive condemnation of domestic violence is a comparatively new phenomenon. Historically, most human societies have regarded some forms of violence in family relations as permissible and others as deviant. The history of domestic violence began in colonial times when abuse against women, children and slaves was considered normal behavior. Common Anglo- American law gave the male head of household authority to act as both disciplinarian and protector of all those who were dependent on him and “granted full legal status only to its male head” (Curry). He could beat his wife as a way of disciplining her if she did something he did not approve of and women had no political rights to help them against it.
Prospects started improving after the colonial times, when, in 1848, a conference was held in Seneca Falls, New York that was devoted to women’s rights. It was appropriately named The Seneca Falls Convention and was the first of its kind. This convention created “a declaration that in part criticized the law fo...
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Birmingham, Rachel. "Domestic Violence—behaviors and Causes." Encyclopedia of
Contemporary American Social Issues. Ed. Michael Shally-Jensen. Vol. 3: Family and Society. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011. 900-908. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Jan. 2012.
Browne, Angela. When Battered Women Kill. New York: Free, 1987. Print. 16 Feb. 2012
Curry, Lynne. "Domestic Violence." Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd
ed. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 72-75. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 20 Feb. 2012.
Ewing, Charles Patrick. Battered Women Who Kill: Psychological Self-Defense as Legal
Justification. Lexington, Mass. ; Toronto: Lexington, 1987. Print. 17 Feb. 2012.
NNEDV. "About Domestic Violence." National Network to End Domestic Violence. Web. 16
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