Abigail Bailey

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.  
It is difficult to defend her as an “innocent victim” since she had knowledge of what was occurring. This however is the path I will pursue for the purpose of this paper.
During the late eighteenth century, the man ruled the home. Abigail was not only a victim of adultery, but also the victim of physical abuse by her husband, Asa. Women and children under the age of eighteen years were considered property of the husband/father. The social and economic consequences of divorce were grave for women. Technically, Women would have to leave the home naked following a divorce, since their clothing belonged to their husband.

Abigail Bailey was an innocent victim. It was late in the eighteenth century, and if she had spoken up and reported the actions of her husband, much disgrace would have been brought upon the family. As indicated in the memoirs, there was no hard evidence she could provide to substantiate that a crime had been committed. Her daughter Phebe, the victim of incest, was only seventeen years of age and thus not old enough to be a legal witness (An Iron Furnace of Affliction). Law enforcement for this type of crime was in its infancy and there were no such things like Crime Scene Investigators or a building known as a crime lab. Abigail’s only hope to put a stop to the...