The Psychology of Trauma

Domestic Violence

What role did feminism play in the understanding of domestic violence?

The feminist movement played a central role in developing awareness of domestic violence. Feminist writers were the first to describe in detail the psychological, physical, economic, and cultural aspects of wife battering and to insist on bringing public attention to the problem. But as the feminist movement was essentially a political movement, the approach to domestic violence emphasized the political roots of the wife battering. More specifically, wife battering was seen as an outgrowth of the larger societal oppression of women. In a patriarchal (male dominated) society, women were seen as property and wife battering a quasi-legitimate means to keep women under control.


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