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The cruelty manChild welfare, the NSPCC and the State in Ireland, 1889-1956$
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Sarah-Anne Buckley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087660

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087660.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2021

Gender, familial problems and the NSPCC

Gender, familial problems and the NSPCC

6 (p.171) Gender, familial problems and the NSPCC
The cruelty man

Sarah-Anne Buckley

Manchester University Press

As with incestuous abuse, recourse was limited for women in situations of domestic violence and desertion in Ireland. The NSPCC was, however, a port of call where wives who were also mothers could turn to for advice. Chapter Six addresses this topic, and in particular the treatment of women in their social role as mothers and wives. While the help they received was restricted, the Society did utilise its connections with branches in Britain and the United States to track husbands who had deserted their families and attempted to procure maintenance. The chapter also demonstrates that gender bias was inherent in child protection work and the development of welfare in Ireland. Changing discourse on the role of mothers and fathers can be observed in legislation, but also in prosecutions for cruelty to children in the courts. This is of interest to the debate on child protection, but also debates on changing attitudes to motherhood and fatherhood; gender in the Irish Free State; and the role of the family in Irish society.

Keywords:   Domestic violence, wife-beating, desertion, gender and family violence, divorce and Ireland, welfare and deserted wives, gender and the courts, parental responsibility and child protection

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