Domestic Violence In The Colonial Era Essay

1018 Words 5 Pages
Domestic Violence in the Colonial Era
In our society today, countless people consider domestic violence, a major offense and many individuals serve multiple sentences of jail time because of it. Only within the past ten or so years, have women been able to speak about their experiences. What if today’s society accepted this domestic violence? What if this terrible occurrence happened to you one day and there was nothing that could be done about it? Although modern families often romanticized early colonial life, colonists often wrongfully used domestic violence as discipline.
In the early 1600’s, in Colonial America, domestic violence was not seen by the colonists in the way that we look at it today. It was a form of punishment for women,
…show more content…
This wrongdoing was rarely ever punished and sometimes went unnoticed. The master usually owned the slaves, so it was their rightful property to beat them if necessary. Sometimes he would beat them even if it was not necessary. Slaves were not allowed to say anything to the courts because they knew that they would be further punished, due to the lack of respect they received at this time. Only a few actual cases with slave abuse made it to the courts. Even fewer cases were actually followed up with a punishment. Normally, the owner got away with the abuse and continued to hit or beat the servants and …show more content…
The very first laws in colonial America outlawed wife-beating, The “Body of Liberties”, was take on by the Massachusetts Bay colonists in 1641. This law read, “Every married woman shall be free from bodily correction or stripes by her husband, unless it is in his own defense upon her assault.” The church also got involved by exorcising them from the congregation or visibly shamming them. The town would charge the men fines and in some special cases even whip them.
One major thing that was going on during this time period was also child abuse. Children were told to be seen and not heard. The parents reserved the right to beat their children. At this time, the outlines for what was punishment and what was abuse were not yet established. The parents did not know that they were abusing their children, they just thought they were just telling them right from wrong. Because of the fine line, not very many court cases were recorded on this subject. The children could not press charges and the parents did not know they were abusing their children most of the

Related Documents