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“The Rule of Love Has Superseded the Rule of Force”

“The Rule of Love Has Superseded the Rule of Force”

The Criminalization of Intimate Partner Violence in New Orleans

Chapter:
(p.99) Chapter Five “The Rule of Love Has Superseded the Rule of Force”
Source:
Intimate Partner Violence in New Orleans
Author(s):
Ashley Baggett
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496815217.003.0006

Rather than creating specific legislation on the issue, the legal system in Louisiana began reinterpreting old assault and battery laws already in the criminal statutes. These courts relied on the abused wife’s sworn description of the incident, even though Louisiana antebellum courts denied a wife’s testimony against her husband. Women did not cater to antebellum notions of womanhood. Most cursed, fought back, or blatantly demanded protection from their abusers. New gender definitions required recognition of women’s right to be free from violence, and courts reflected this change, effectively criminalizing intimate partner violence.

Keywords:   Assault and battery, Louisiana, Woman’s right, Legal protection, Criminalization

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