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"In the United States, until women's rights advocates began the painstaking task of changing state laws, a husband had the legal right to batter his wife (to interfere would "upset the domestic tranquility of the home," as one state supreme court said).

But suffragists lived as neighbors to men of other nations, whose religious, legal, social and economic concept of women made such behavior unthinkable.

One group's (The Haudenosaunee) spiritual practices were spelled out in an oral tradition called the Code of Handsome Lake, which told the following cautionary tale of what would befall batterers in the afterlife:

 

[A man] who was in the habit of beating his wife, was led to the red-hot statue of a female, and requested to treat it as he had done his wife. He commenced beating it, and the sparks flew out and were continual burning him. thus would it be done to all who beat their wives."

 

 

 
     

 

 
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