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By Louise A. Jackson

Baby Sexual Abuse in Victorian England is the 1st designated research of ways that kid abuse was once chanced on, debated, clinically determined and handled within the Victorian and Edwardian periods.The concentration is put on the kid and his or her adventure of courtroom technique and welfare perform, thereby supplying a different and critical assessment of the therapy of youngsters within the court docket. via a sequence of case stories, together with analyses of the legal courts, the writer examines the influence of laws at grass roots point, and demonstrates why this was once a formative interval within the criminal definition of sexual abuse. delivering a much-needed perception into Victorian attitudes, together with that of Christian morality, this e-book makes a particular contribution to the heritage of crime, social welfare and the relations. It additionally deals a worthy critique of present paintings at the background of kid's houses and associations, arguing that the inter-personal relationships of kids and carers is a vital sector of analysis.

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Extra resources for Child Sexual Abuse in Victorian England (Women's & Gender History)

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22 The abuser was defined in opposition to the norms of working-class masculinity. Indeed, his deviance was seen as a negation of his gender; he was beast rather than man. 23 Thus the language of insult cited in the depositions indicates the presence of a strong moral code, of strategies of surveillance and regulation. Sexual abuse was seen as brutal outrage but, at the same time, removed from the intimate sphere of the familial. Parents, relations and neighbours were vital figures in the discovery and reporting of abuse and in the catching of offenders.

Hampstead was still very much a village in an outlying area of Middlesex throughout the nineteenth century. 100 Thames Police Court, on the other hand, covered the area of the East End that included Whitechapel, Stepney and Limehouse, a densely populated urban district which included slums inhabited by the poorest London residents as well as more affluent working-class households. The Thames Police Court area had its fair share of families who dwelt in one room, living in conditions which moral reformers suggested could only lead to depravity and incest.

Sexual abuse was seen as brutal outrage but, at the same time, removed from the intimate sphere of the familial. Parents, relations and neighbours were vital figures in the discovery and reporting of abuse and in the catching of offenders. 25 Brought into intimate physical contact with their children as they cared for them on a daily basis, mothers were the first to notice tell-tale signs of abuse such as marks on the body or stains on linen. A Halifax mother told magistrates in 1850: ‘Before she went to bed I had her stockings off to mend.

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