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Why Was It Mainly Women Prosecuted During the Witch Trials

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What images does the word "witch" create in a person’s mind? Most people would tend to think of an old woman wearing a black, cone-shaped hat, with a large mole on her face, and perhaps flying on her broom. The European witch trials began when both men and women were accused of consorting with the devil. Due to the accusations of consorting with the devil many women were tortured for days and even weeks for information. The most documented witch trials occurred in Europe and the United States. Throughout history millions of people have been accused, arrested, tortured, put to trial, and persecuted as witches. However, why were a majority of the accused and prosecuted women? The trials occurred during a time when women were considered a…show more content…
“Thus, it is striking to find that many victims of witchcraft accusations were poor beggar women who were said by their neighbors to have laid a curse not God 's, but the devil 's on a household in which something had gone wrong.”(Klaits, p. 87) Women who did not have a man to support them would go through the village and beg for food for themselves and their family. If they were denied, and something happened in the house, they begged at the neighbor would say that the beggar woman had placed a curse on the house. This could have been anything from the neighbor 's child becoming ill to even the cow not giving milk anymore. These accusations usually came after the beggar was refused charity and walked away mumbling something mean. They were usually then reported once something went wrong within the home they had looked for the charity at. Witches have been thought to be the servants of Satan for many years through their Sabbaths. “Specifically, it was thought in many parts of Europe that these women showed their subservience to Satan by becoming his willing sexual slaves.” (Klaits, p. 2) In many of the research works done through the years, that the sabbath is when witches became the servants of the devil. They would have orgies with the devil at the end of the rituals. A witch supposedly kissed the master 's rear as well. “They sing very obscene songs in his {Satan 's} honour..... They behave ridiculously in every way, and in every way contrary to accepted
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