"Wife bashers are those men who sit in a room and you can feel it: the simmer, the sense of some unpredictable force that might, at any moment, break loose, and do something terrible. I've dealt with this problem and its family consequences frequently in my previous work as a Probation Officer and have spoken of it a few times in my daily thoughts. The simplest advice that I gave the battered bride then is precisely the same advice I'd give her today, 'Don't give him a second chance of hitting you again; get out now and leave him!' I might add that I would also provide the same advice to any man who was abused by his wife or partner.
All marriages are sacred but unfortunately, not all are safe. Not all offer that home of matrimonial contentment where man, woman and child can be themselves and speak their minds without fear of physical reprisal, manipulation, abusive control or being taken emotional hostage to the constant fearful consequence of noncompliance.
All of my life I have hated the thought of a man beating and abusing a woman. My own father and mother, though good people whom I loved dearly, had many failings like most parents have and during their marriage, I sometimes witnessed them row. Their rows were usually verbal, but occasionally during the heat of their argument, I have seen my mother go for dad with whatever she happened to be holding in her hand at the time and witnessed him shielding himself or holding her off. Not once though, whatever the provocation, did I ever see him raise his fist to her. There were obviously consequences as a result of their arguments and when they occurred, I've no doubt that dad suffered the fate that all dads suffer from time to time for having found themselves on the wrong side of an argument with their wife; by being banished for a few weeks from her affections and the marital bed and finding nothing but bread and jam in his lunch box for the following fortnight!
On the estate where I was brought up, it was not unusual to hear the next door neighbours having the occasional row through the dividing walls. Very rarely would the argument result in violent fisticuffs and usually it would conclude in a contest between man and wife of seeing who was the best shot flinging a few plates, the odd shoe or whatever else came to hand, towards their spouse. The generally accepted maxim of most men at the time was, 'Any man who hits a woman is no man at all!'
While it was not unheard of for man and woman to innocently joke and flirt with a member of the opposite sex, as a general rule such flirting rarely went beyond a joke and a laugh. Affairs were frowned upon by the community and divorces in the 1950s were still considered to be taboo. Frequently, one man might hold harmless banter with his work mate and speculate as to why the daily milkman and postman were always smiling and whistling doing their morning rounds! In the event of any man learning of his wife being too friendly with the milk man when he was hard at work in the factory, the least he would be expected to do would be to cancel his weekly order and empty the contents of the remaining milk bottles over his wife's head when he arrived home! In the event of any cuckold husband discovering that while he was at work their milk man was handling much more than the bottles on his milk float, it would be considered permissible to corner the milk man in his dairy when he was alone and forcibly wipe the cream from his upper lip without the risk of prosecution by the local bobby.
There is no doubt in my mind that with a few exceptions, until after the 1960s, it was considered unmanly ever to hit a woman, whatever the provocation or circumstances. Sadly, the passing of the last fifty years seems to have given greater licence to this unacceptable act by men who cannot control their temper or exercise greater restraint over their baser inclinations when in a heated row with the opposite sex. While there are doubtless many reasons for this such as the rapidly changing roles of men and women, the altered face of the work force and breadwinner of the house, women's determination to accept nothing less than equality to that of man in all things, along with the increased use of addictive substances like drink and drugs that severely alter moods and removes all form of restraint from the more aggressive and threatened/threatening male; there is still no excuse for a man ever to hit a woman!
One of the saddest changes in man over the past fifty years is to forget that women are the 'fairer sex' and that all men of worth should act as 'gentlemen.' Such attitudes and conduct are sadly lacking in society today; both in the abuser's home as well as no longer being part of our general culture and daily life in the community. Any man who feels any real respect for a woman could never hit her and any woman who holds any respect for herself would never present the abuser with the opportunity to hit her twice.
I repeat; my unequivocal advice to any abused woman today is the same as it was in 1970, 'Don't give him a second chance of hitting you again; get out now and leave him!'" William Forde: 5th February, 2016.