Chapter

‘Angels who have lost their way’: the work of rescue and refuge homes

Leanne McCormick

in Regulating Sexuality

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719076640
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702666 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719076640.003.0003
‘Angels who have lost their way’: the work of rescue and refuge homes

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This chapter investigates the work of rescue and reform homes in Northern Ireland in relation to prostitution. Penitentiaries and rescue homes were founded initially for the rescue and reformation of prostitutes. However, women who were believed to have been engaged in prostitution were considered a bad influence on younger women and were refused entry to rescue homes. The chapter suggests that the power and influence which the Catholic Church had on both society and the state in the Irish Free State explains in part the continued existence of Magdalen laundries, and contends that social mores and the advancement of female emancipation appear to have assisted the closure of rescue homes.

Keywords: rescue homes; Northern Ireland; prostitution; Catholic Church; Irish Free State; Magdalen laundries; social mores; female emancipation

Chapter.  17385 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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