What is Faith?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The History of Battered Women

Movement first gains momentum in England as Chiswick Women's Aid, the first identified shelter opens

Women's Advocates in St. Paul, Minnesota starts the first hot line for battered women. Women's Advocates and Haven house in Pasadena, California established the first shelters for battered women.

Erin Pizzey publishes Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear in England, the first book about domestic violence from the battered women's perspective.

NOW (National Organization of Women) announces the formation of a task force, co-chaired by Del Martin, to examine the problem of battering. It demands research into the problem and money for shelters.

Del Martin publishes Battered Wives; the first American feminist publication showing violence against wives deeply rooted in sexism.

Betsy Warrior publishes Working on Wife Abuse; the first national directory of individuals and groups helping battered women.

Nebraska becomes the first state to abolish the marital rape exemption.

Pennsylvania establishes the first state coalition against domestic violence. It also becomes the first state to create a statue providing for orders of protection for victims of domestic violence.

First national conference on battered women is held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin sponsored by the Milwaukee Task Force on Battered Women.

National Communications Network for the Elimination of Violence against Women (NCN), the first national newsletter on battered women, is published. The following year, NCN merges with the Feminist Alliance Against Rape to publish Aegis, the Magazine on Ending Violence Against Women, a grassroots feminist forum on rape, battering, and other issues of violence affecting women.

Oregon becomes the first state to enact legislation mandating arrest in domestic cases.

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights holds "Consultation on Battered Women" in Washington DC, brings together hundred of activists and results in Battered Women: Issue of Public Policy, which offers more than 700 pages of written and oral testimony.

National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV), the grassroots organization which becomes the voice of the battered women's movement on the national level, is organized. NCADV establishes the vision and philosophy, which will guide the development of hundreds of local battered women's programs and state coalitions. It initiates the introduction of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act in the U.S. congress.

Law enforcement Assistance Administration (a predecessor agency of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice) awards 11 grants to family violence projects to provide a range of services.

Minnesota becomes the first to allow probable cause (warrant less) arrest in cases of domestic assault, regardless of whether a protection order had been issued against the offender.

Office on Domestic Violence is established in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but is closed in 1981

First congressional hearings on the issue of domestic violence is held.

First National Data of Unity in October is established by NCADV to mourn battered women who have died, celebrate women who have survived the violence, and honor all who have worked to defeat domestic violence. Becomes Domestic Violence Awareness Week, and in 1987 expands to a month of awareness activities.

NCADV holds first national conference in Washington, DC, which is attended by more than 600 battered women's advocates from 49 states. The conference gains federal recognition of critical issues facing battered women, and sees the birth of several state coalitions.

A Police Foundation study Minneapolis, funded by the National Institute of Justice, finds arrest more effective than two non-arrest alternatives in reducing the likelihood of repeat violence. The study findings are widely publicized and provide the impetus for many police departments to establish pro-arrest policies in cases of domestic violence.

U.S. Attorney General establishes Task Force on Family Violence to examine scope and nature of problem. Nearly 300 witnesses provide testimony at public hearings in six cities. Final Report offers recommendations for action in many areas, including the criminal justice response, prevention and awareness, education and training, and data collection and reporting.

Passage of the Family Violence Preventing and Services Act through grassroots lobbying efforts; earmarks federal funding for programs serving victims of domestic violence.

Florida becomes the first state to enact legislation mandating consideration of partner abuse in child custody determinations.

Thurman v. Torrington is the first case in federal court in which a battered woman sues a city for police failure to protect her from her husband's violence. Tracy Thurman, who remains scarred and partially paralyzed from stab wounds inflicted by her husband, wins a $2 million judgment against the city. The suit leads to Connecticut's passage of its mandatory arrest law.

U.S. Surgeon General issues report identifying domestic violence as a major health problem.
NCADV establishes the first national toll-free hot line.

First national conference to promote a dialogue among domestic violence researchers, practitioners, and policymakers is held at the university of New Hampshire.

State v. Ciskie is the first to allow the use of expert testimony to explain the behavior and mental state of an adult rape victim. The testimony is used to show why a victim of repeated physical and sexual assault by her intimate partner would not immediately call police or take action. The jury convicts the defendant of four counts of rape.

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