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NCJ Number: 141014 Find in a Library
Title: Female Suffrage, Male Violence, and Law Enforcement in Lane County, Oregon, 1853 to 1960: An Ascending Analysis of Power
Journal: Social Justice  Volume:19  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1992)  Pages:82-106
Author(s): N Websdale
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 25
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article looks at female suffrage and the possible impact of women's voting rights on the incidence of domestic violence in Lane County, Oregon.
Abstract: Patriarchy was established in Oregon before Oregan became a State in 1859. The rise of women's legal rights in Oregon, which appeared to give women more financial independence, also acted to bolster the economic stability of the patriarchal family. The women's rights movement became rooted as laissez-faire capitalism began to emerge across Oregon in the 1870's. In order to examine the link between women's legal rights and domestic violence, random samples of divorce cases were drawn during the 1853-1912 and 1913-1960 periods in Lane County. For each divorce case selected, reasons for bringing the action were noted. Findings showed that relatively few marriages ended in divorce, especially in the 19th century. The judiciary considered it within a husband's right to use violence, provided it was not excessive and did not cause injury. Some women seemed to perceive male violence as normal and legitimate and therefore did not even consider divorce. Another problem was that women's statements were considered to be allegations rather than proven. Further, police officers were reluctant to intervene in violent marriages. Findings from the divorce transcripts are included. 18 references, 25 notes, and 6 figures
Main Term(s): Domestic assault; Women's rights
Index Term(s): Female victims; Oregon; Socially approved violence
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