Does her lack of actions make her guilty? Was Abigail Abbot Bailey an innocent victim or was she a perpetrator of what can be considered one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed upon a human being?
One may be able to consider Mrs. Bailey an accomplice to what occurred to her daughter. I do not believe this to be true. Her memoirs do not support that she was anything but a victim. She was definitely not a perpetrator as she does not meet the definition of the word. A perpetrator is one who commits a crime, atrocity; someone who carried out some action, often a bad thing like a crime. A perpetrator is the person who commits the crime; it would be the opposite of a victim.
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Abigail’s only hope to put a stop to the crimes being committed was through dialogue with her husband. This proved futile, but during these times, it was the best option available.
Abigail was a deeply religious woman. Her desire to serve God and remain married at nearly all cost is admirable. She prayed for the madness to end however the assaults continued for nearly two years from 1788-1790. She was the mother of fourteen children and surely took their welfare into consideration when considering other actions she could take. This was her best course of action given the times but certainly not a recommended course of action in today’s world.
Abigail was also physically abused by Asa. Following a single month of marriage, the physical abuse began. She had endured this torture for approximately twenty years. She must have considered the beating she was going to suffer had she suggested divorce. She also must have considered the trauma she would receive should she confront her husband regarding the incest that was occurring.
It was a “no win” situation. Abigail was forced to choose from the better of two terribly horrible options in an attempt to have the child abuse cease. She must have also been considering...