Document Type


Publication Date



Domestic violence was a social issue prominently debated during the Victorian period. Literature published during this time period, which included Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, addresses the problem of domestic violence and exposes the problems women faced in the home, problems that were previously thought to be private matters. Throughout the nineteenth century, the laws regarding both domestic violence and the rights of women drastically changed to provide more protection and grant greater rights to both women and children. Both of Browning and Brontës works expose the hidden monsters that could exist behind the closed doors of a private Victorian home. Literature, such as Brownings and Brontës, which addresses these types of social problems revealed the need for greater protections for women and children; and in the nineteenth century, helped to further the campaign to strengthen the law.