Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Westview Press


Although wife abuse is common in Iran, it is a subject which has received almost no attention from scholars and little has been written on it. The purpose of this article is to examine the problem, to show the connection between wife-beating and the Iranian political system, and to raise questions for further research. The data on which this analysis is based come from my own research as well as from published sources. The two case histories of wife abuse presented exemplify social process in a political system characterized by arbitrariness and the need to dominate. The degree to which a woman could be abused depended upon the power relationships and resources that people were able to muster in their continuous effort to control others and to avoid being manipulated themselves.

Chapter of

Sanctions and Sanctuary: Cultural Perspectives on the Beating of Wives


Dorothy A Counts
Judith K Brown
Jacquelyn C Campbell


Reprinted with permission.