This dissertation chronicles the development of the battered women's movement in the U.S., which began in the early 1970s with telephone "hotlines" for women in crisis. Recognizing that woman battering was not an isolated personal problem, but a widespread social problem, activists developed shelters for battered women, state coalitions of shelter organizations, and a national organization. The movement had two primary goals: providing shelter for battered women, and ending violence against women in their own homes. Using information gleaned from oral history interviews with movement activists, as well as archival and secondary source research, I illustrate how a national social movement grew out of the grassroots organizing efforts of small groups of feminist activists. I argue that the history of the battered women's movement challenges the declension narrative of the women's liberation movement, as I examine the movement's successes and failures in achieving its dual goals.
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