Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Violence against women by men is not a new problem. Certain cultures have encouraged it; others have regulated it. English common law, after which American laws are patterned, gave husbands the right to chastise their wives. The ''rule of thumb" referred to the right of a husband to beat his wife with a stick "no thicker than his thumb" (Martin, 1983, p.46). Most states adopted this policy, acknowledging wife beating as acceptable, up to a point. This attitude was best summed up by an old North Carolina court ruling that stated, "unless some permanent injury be inflicted or there be an excess of violence ... the law will not invade the domestic forum and go behind the curtain". (Gellen, Hoffman, Jones & Stone, 1984, p. 601).

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

Robert T. Lembke


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