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“domestic violence” Tag

Just a Domestic?

Woman's Weekly / 18th June 1965

Hmm. Read the first letter and see if you agree with me that there may be more to this than Mary realises. Everyone loses their temper occasionally, usually when they’re tired or have had a hard day, but regular bouts of extreme anger are different. It’s particularly concerning that the husband only displays this anger to his wife, so everyone else in their lives probably think that he’s an ideal man. Of course, domestic violence wasn’t really taken seriously until the 1980s; when my aunt left her abusive husband in the 1970s, the police were prepared to sit at a distance when he visited her, meaning it was only her quick closing of the door which prevented him from stabbing her with a knife he’d concealed.

What is also worrying is that we haven’t come all that far on this issue in 45 years. This editorial in the Guardian from 2008 states that more women worldwide between 19 and 44 die from domestic violence than any other cause, and the proposed changes in legal aid will make women more vulnerable. And being a victim of violence isn’t restricted to women in heterosexual relationships; anyone can be a victim, and convictions are even more difficult in these (rarer) cases. Mary’s eventual advice of marriage guidance isn’t wrong, but she’s obviously underestimated how frightened this woman is. After all, she’s finally picked up the courage after 30 years to write to a problem page, so getting her husband to undergo marriage guidance? Unlikely. I hope his temper just restricted itself to shouting, because I have a horrible feeling that this woman wouldn’t have got anywhere in dealing with his anger issues.

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