A Short History of Domestic Abuse

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Domestic abuse was not always seen as criminal behavior. At the beginning of American history, “chastisement” was considered acceptable within the covenant of marriage. In 1871, an Alabama court ruled that the husband’s “ancient” privilege to beat his wife was no longer acceptable under the law. It took almost another century before the “privacy” doctrine, or belief that abuse within a marriage was a private affair, began to unravel. The 1960s-1970s saw the birth of women’s shelters and domestic violence programs around the country (including the establishment of HELP of Door County in 1979). In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law, providing funding for increased investigation and prosecution of domestic abuse and establishing the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

Fast forward to today – rules regarding domestic abuse have become much more stringent and domestic abuse is generally acknowledged as unacceptable. Still, as we see each day in our work, much remains to be done. Our advocates work with victims to listen without judgment, support without blaming and empower them through advocacy and information. Due to your generosity and investment in our work, all victim services are free and confidential.

Thanks to you, HELP of Door County is able to address many of the issues that remain unmet. Survivors of domestic abuse report that the access provided by HELP to food, shelter and safety along with legal support and financial education are some of their most dire needs in addressing an abusive situation. We hope that you value our work too and we will work hard every day to continue to earn your trust. Please consider making a donation today in support of our good work to:

HELP of Door County, Inc.
219 Green Bay Rd.
Sturgeon Bay, WI. 54235

or to make an online donation, visit our website and click on the “DONATE” button at: www.helpofdoorcounty.org

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