Being accused of being a witch was a major crime in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries because of misogyny (hatred of women).Witch hunts occurred in the British Isles, New England, Russia, Scandinavia, Hungary, the Balkan Islands, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain.Also, during this time Catholic Germans felt Satan intended to destroy Christians by using witches.Witch hunts resulted in the trial, torture, and execution of tens of thousands of victims, about three – quarters of whom were women.The reasons that witches were accused were complex and no doubt different for different people involved.There are many different theories for the persecution of witches.
"The figures show that in fact women wre overwhelmingly victimized: on average, 80 percent of those accused and 85 percent of those killed were female." (Barstow P.23)Although women were the main victims, men were also accused."Having a female body was the factor most likely to render one vulnerable to being called a witch." (Barstow P. 16) The reason that women were more apt to be accused, most were related to current attitudes to women and their places and roles they held within society.Women were suspected because they were believed to be morally weaker than men, and therefore more inclined to surrender to the temptations of the Devil.Also, women were thought to be more sexually indulgent than men.Women charged with witchcraft were often thought to have made a pact with the Devil as a result of sexual temptation and they often took part in sexual activity with the Devil as part of the pact."Also, women, unable by law to give legal testimony, did not traditionally know how to use the courts, either for initial defense or for appeal." (Barstow P. 25)
There are various reasons that many witches tender to be old.Witches tended to be persecuted after many years of suspicion.Also, witches tended to be wise w…

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