This violence is perpetuated, fostered, and tolerated by institutional practices and social norms (values). For instance, a look at the legal system reveals some of the ways that violence against women has been institutionalized. It was not until the 1870s that courts in the United States stopped recognizing the common-law principle that a husband had the right to “physically chastise an errant wife”.6 In the United Kingdom, the traditional right of a husband to inflict moderate corporal punishment on his wife in order to keep her “within the bounds of duty” was removed in 1891.78 In the more recent past, until 1976, marital rape was legal in every state in the United States. Today, very few reports of rape end in a conviction of rape and many victims face barriers in terms of time and the difficulty of the process when attempting to utilize the criminal justice system to seek accountability.


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