Profiles in Domestic Violence

Aug. 25, 1889, E. Adam

Aug. 25, 1889: Prince Albert suits for $14 ($331.36 USD, 2008).

Aug. 25, 1889, Abused Wife

The late 19th and early 20th century newspapers are full of harrowing stories about domestic violence, usually alcoholic men beating their wives and children. The women in these reports typically say that they endure countless beatings because they are unable to support themselves and their children, and because the husbands, once sober and/or in jail or in court, promise to reform.

In fact, the husbands almost never reform and the drinking and beatings escalate until the women end up in the hospital and the husbands are prosecuted, even though the wives refuse to press charges.

I've come across an interesting variant of these stories in the papers of the 1950s. As the abused children grow older, one of them — usually a son in his mid-teens — confronts the drunk, abusive father as he's beating the mother and kills him. I haven't read enough of the earlier papers to know if this occurs regularly, but these stories are a fixture of the mid- to late 1950s.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in #courts, 1889, LAPD. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply. Note: Your IP is logged with your comment so a fake name and email address are useless.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.