Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement

Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement

Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement

Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement

Excerpt

Between 1974 and 1980, projects to help battered women suddenly appeared in hundreds of towns and rural areas. With the forceful declaration, "We will not be beaten," women organized across the country. By 1982, the words "battered women's movement" had come to symbolize the conglomeration of organizations serving abused women and their children. Embodied in over 300 shelters, 48 state coalitions of service providers, a national grassroots organization, and a multitude of social and legal reforms, the battered women's movement grew astronomically, transforming public consciousness and women's lives. Its zeal, dedication, achievements, and political dilemmas are the subject of this book.

I have spent six years as an activist and service provider in the movement whose efforts I am chronicling. As an early member of the Chicago Abused Women's Coalition in the days when there was still nowhere for most battered women to go and later as coordinator of the Park Slope Safe Homes Project in Brooklyn, I found my life and political views enriched, challenged, and deepened by the experiences I shared with battered women and other activists. Although by 1980 I was exhausted from helping too many people in too hostile an environment, I was eager to continue participating in the movement by writing about it.

Trained as a social worker but identifying as an activist, I first . . .

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