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NCJ Number: 149754 Find in a Library
Title: Evolution of Women's Asylums Since 1500: From Refuges for Ex-Prostitutes to Shelters for Battered Women
Author(s): S Cohen
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 262
Sponsoring Agency: Oxford University Press, Inc
New York, NY 10016
Publication Number: ISBN 0-19-505164-5
Sale Source: Oxford University Press, Inc
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book profiles three institutions for women in 16th Century and 17th Century Italian cities of Florence and Pistoia to show that women's institutions of early modern Europe pioneered in the development of key social institutions.
Abstract: The 16th and 17th Centuries in Catholic Europe witnessed the growth of new institutions designed to house repentant prostitutes and girls and women at risk of becoming prostitutes. This little-known surge in institution building arose out of the Catholic reform movement and the Counter Reformation. In Western societies from the 16th Century onward, far more types of gender-specific institutions have been created for women than for men. The institutions for women served many social functions, usually including the control of women's sexuality. Representing a new residential option for women beyond the traditional ones of marriage or convent, these institutions were "asylums" in a dual sense, operating as both sites of internment and shelters from harm. The author shows how the multi- functional women's institutions of the early modern era served as the prototypes for a variety of asylums for women that emerged in later centuries, including hostels, homes for unwed mothers, and battered women's shelters. In a major revision of the historiography of social institutions, this book argues that the women's institutions of early modern Europe played a pioneering role in developing techniques and institutional forms in the fields of corrections and social welfare. A 408-item bibliography and a subject index
Main Term(s): Victim services
Index Term(s): Female victims; Shelters for Battered Women; Women's correctional institutions
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