In the 19th century it was accepted that men were allowed to use violence to control their wives and that it was part of working class behaviour. The courts and the press gave the impression that wife-beating was not a serious crime and gave out light sentences. The press gave more column inches to beating your horse than it did your wife and believed that women were to blame 'Pity the poor husbands, unless wives hold their tongues and tempers and their conduct they will continue to be beaten'. In the 20th century things started to change with the rise of feminism and women's refuges. But how far have we really come?