How early laws in America contributed to the legitimacy of intimate partner violence
Analyze how early laws in America contributed to the legitimacy of intimate partner violence
|Subject||Law and governance||Pages||2||Style||APA|
How Early Laws in America Contributed to the Legitimacy of Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence was rooted in American society until 1970, when it was officially considered a criminal offense. However, the laws that were formed to protect women enhanced the practice in one way or another. Most American states endorsed various types of domestic violence through laws that considered sex a marital obligation. Thus, it made rapists escape justice and made men who murdered unfaithful wives be seen as those who defended their rights.
The early settlers in America encouraged wife beating for correction and discipline, based on English common law. The individual states broke away from the federal provision by suggesting that husbands were allowed to whip their wives with switches that were no bigger than their thumps. In 1824, the Mississippi’s Supreme Court allowed husbands to punish their wives when they went against them, especially concerning conjugal rights. North Carolina courts declared that criminal liability cannot be made against men who beat their wives unless it results in serious injuries.
In 1966, a law was enacted in New York that gave grounds for divorce in case of intimate partner relationship. However, the woman was to prove that the assault was done multiple times. The law was ineffective since it did not define the sufficient amount of assault that warranted divorce. While many improvements were made on women’s rights, the laws were deficient in terms of defining violence in marriage and violent husbands still got away with their criminal activities. Nonetheless, the laws touched on many other rights such as economic rights, overshadowing the need to address intimate partner violence as an isolated case of concern.