Marital violence in post-independence Ireland, 1922–96

'A living tomb for women'

By Cara Diver

Marital violence in post-independence Ireland, 1922–96


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2011-3
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: May 2019
  • BIC Category: History, Ireland, Domestic abuse, 20th century, c 1900 to c 1999, HISTORY / Women, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Ireland, Domestic Violence


Marital violence in post-independence Ireland, 1922-96 represents the first comprehensive history of marital violence in modern Ireland, from the founding of the Irish Free State in 1922 to the passage of the Domestic Violence Act and the legalisation of divorce in 1996. Based upon extensive research of under-used court records, this groundbreaking study sheds light on the attitudes, practices, and laws surrounding marital violence in twentieth-century Ireland. While many men beat their wives with impunity throughout this period, victims of marital violence had little refuge for at least fifty years after independence. During a time when most abused wives remained locked in violent marriages, this book explores the ways in which men, women, and children responded to marital violence. It raises important questions about women's status within marriage and society, the nature of family life, and the changing ideals and lived realities of the modern marital experience in Ireland.


1 Marital violence as a social problem in post-independence Ireland, 1922-65
2 Towards an understanding of marital violence: causes, definitions, and interpretations, 1922-65
3 Fighting back: resistance and responses to marital violence, 1922-65
4 Children and marital violence, 1922-65
5 The 'discovery' of marital violence, 1960-80
6 Reforms to marital violence policy and legislation, 1970-96


Cara Diver received her Ph.D from King's College London

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