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Title: Husbands' violence against wives in England and Wales, 1914-1939 : a review of contemporary understandings of, and responses to, men's marital violence
Author: Crites, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 472X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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The period 1914-1939 ushered in a variety of social, cultural, economic and political changes, and it is possible to see the influences of these within the intimate relationships of the family. To date the historiography of the family in interwar Britain has largely neglected the issue of violence against wives, and so this thesis aims to contribute to this discourse. It will consider the cultures and social structures that both enabled and challenged husbands’ intimate violence in the shadow of the First World War. This thesis will survey the everyday experiences of people within abusive relationships, and explore the understandings of and responses to this issue among the judiciary and magistracy, news media, medical professions, and those groups who sought to reform marriage. Exploring the liminality of violence within the home, this study will show how contemporary evaluations of marital violence were influenced by the common prioritization of marriage and patriarchal authority above the safety of wives and the criminalization of husbands. It will go on to argue that, even as increasing numbers of couples separated and divorced, the legacy of war exacerbated many of the issues that enabled husbands’ violence against wives. It bolstered the link between social stability and traditional gender roles, encouraged the conditions within relationships that contributed to the expression of domestic abuse, and fostered a disinclination to question the morality of violent veteran husbands. It will conclude that without the discursive capacity nor widespread inclination to challenge the social and cultural circumstances that enabled violence against wives, wife battery remained an insufficiently problematized issue throughout the period examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman