” Violence against women has its roots in a millennia-old patriarchal system that has historically viewed women as inherently inferior to men in the intellectual, spiritual, physical, sexual, and emotional realms. When misogynistic attitudes were at their height, during the Middle Ages, women were perceived as evil incarnate. The male tendency to devalue women and view them as property has led to a variety of cruel practices, including femicide, infanticide, rape, battering, torture, widow burning, veiling, footbinding, witch burning, chastity belts, clitoridectomies, and infibulation. At the very heart of wife battering is the subordination of women to male control and authority, which has been institutionalized in the structure of the patriarchal family and supported by such societal institutions as economics, politics, religion, medicine, education, and culture.”

– Karen J. Wilson, Ed. D., author of When Violence Begins at Home