The Contagious Diseases Acts, also known as the CD Acts, were originally passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1864, with alterations and editions made in 1866 and 1869. In 1862, a committee was established to inquire into venereal disease (i.e. sexually transmitted infections) in the armed forces. On its recommendation the first Contagious Diseases Act was passed. The legislation allowed police officers to arrest women suspected of being prostitutes in certain ports and army towns. The women were then subjected to compulsory checks for venereal disease. If a woman was declared to be infected, she would be confined in what was known as a lock hospital until she recovered or her sentence finished. The original act only applied to a few selected naval ports and army towns, but by

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  • Die Contagious Diseases Acts (Gesetze über ansteckende Krankheiten) sind britische Parlamentserlasse des 19. Jahrhunderts zur Bekämpfung von Geschlechtskrankheiten. Anlass für die Verabschiedung dieser Erlasse war die hohe Anzahl von Geschlechtskrankheiten unter Angehörigen des britischen Militärs. Die Erlasse räumten Polizeibeamten weitgehende Rechte ein, Frauen und Mädchen, die scheinbar oder tatsächlich der Prostitution nachgingen, aufzugreifen, sie zu internieren und anzuordnen, dass sie sich einer gynäkologischen Untersuchung zu unterziehen hatten. Der erste Contagious Diseases Act wurde 1864 verabschiedet, in den Jahren 1866 und 1869 jeweils ausgeweitet und verschärft. Die Erlasse wurden 1883 außer Kraft gesetzt und 1885 vollständig aufgehoben. Britische Frauen aller Schichten wehrten sich ab 1869 in einer Kampagne gegen diese Erlasse, die Prostituierte kriminalisierten, ihre Kunden aber unbehelligt ließen. Die von 140 Frauen unterzeichnete Petition zur Abschaffung der Contagious Diseases Acts zählt zu den Gründungsdokumenten des modernen Feminismus. Leitfigur der Kampagne war Josephine Butler. Der Kampf gegen die Contagious Diseases Acts trug wesentlich dazu bei, die britischen Frauen zu politisieren, und prägte die britische Frauenwahlrechtsbewegung des 19. Jahrhunderts. Der Protest in Großbritannien übertrug sich auf andere Länder, in denen sich in ähnlicher Weise Protestgruppen formten. Der Protest gegen die Erlasse führte in Großbritannien zu einer breiten öffentlichen Auseinandersetzung über die Ursachen der Prostitution, die Lebensbedingungen von Prostituierten sowie die vorherrschende sexuelle Doppelmoral. Nach vorherrschender Auffassung war Prostitution ein für Männer notwendiges und daher zu tolerierendes gesellschaftliches Übel, während die Frauen, die der Prostitution nachgingen, gesellschaftlich streng geächtet wurden. (de)
  • The Contagious Diseases Acts, also known as the CD Acts, were originally passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1864, with alterations and editions made in 1866 and 1869. In 1862, a committee was established to inquire into venereal disease (i.e. sexually transmitted infections) in the armed forces. On its recommendation the first Contagious Diseases Act was passed. The legislation allowed police officers to arrest women suspected of being prostitutes in certain ports and army towns. The women were then subjected to compulsory checks for venereal disease. If a woman was declared to be infected, she would be confined in what was known as a lock hospital until she recovered or her sentence finished. The original act only applied to a few selected naval ports and army towns, but by 1869 the acts had been extended to cover eighteen "subjected districts". The Act of 1864 stated that women found to be infected could be interned in locked hospitals for up to three months, a period gradually extended to one year with the 1869 Act. These measures were justified by medical and military officials as the most effective method to shield men from venereal disease. Because military men were often unmarried and homosexuality was criminal, prostitution was considered a necessary evil. However, no provision was made for the examination of prostitutes' clientele, which became one of the many points of contention in a campaign to repeal the Acts. After 1866, proposals were introduced to extend the acts to the north of England and to the civilian population. It was suggested that this extension would regulate prostitution and stop street disorders caused by it in large cities. The subject of venereal disease, known as the social disease, created significant controversy within Victorian society. The Contagious Diseases Acts themselves affected thousands of people's lives, from campaigners to prostitutes themselves. They sparked the debate over inequality between men and women. It was an early political issue that led to women organising themselves and actively campaigning for their rights. The inconsistent treatment of genders inherent in the acts was a key part of Josephine Butler's campaigns for their repeal. In one of her public letters, she allowed a prostitute to deliver her own account of her personal encounters with men: It is men, only men, from the first to the last that we have to do with! To please a man I did wrong at first, then I was flung about from man to man. Men police lay hands on us. By men we are examined, handled, doctored. In the hospital it is a man again who makes prayer and reads the Bible for us. We are had up before magistrates who are men, and we never get out of the hands of men till we die! (en)
  • Les Contagious Diseases Acts (Lois sur les maladies contagieuses) sont une série des lois britanniques votées entre 1864 et 1867 destinées au départ à lutter contre les maladies vénériennes dans les villes de garnison. Elles servaient surtout comme moyen de contrôle des prostituées qui devaient se soumettre à des examens réguliers et étaient enfermées en cas d'infection. Les clients par contre n'étaient soumis à aucun contrôle. Leur abrogation, obtenue en 1886, fut un des éléments de la lutte féministe et abolitionniste, principalement de Josephine Butler. * Portail de l’histoire Portail de l’histoire * Portail du Royaume-Uni Portail du Royaume-Uni * Portail des femmes et du féminisme Portail des femmes et du féminisme (fr)
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  • The Contagious Diseases Acts, also known as the CD Acts, were originally passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1864, with alterations and editions made in 1866 and 1869. In 1862, a committee was established to inquire into venereal disease (i.e. sexually transmitted infections) in the armed forces. On its recommendation the first Contagious Diseases Act was passed. The legislation allowed police officers to arrest women suspected of being prostitutes in certain ports and army towns. The women were then subjected to compulsory checks for venereal disease. If a woman was declared to be infected, she would be confined in what was known as a lock hospital until she recovered or her sentence finished. The original act only applied to a few selected naval ports and army towns, but by (en)
  • Die Contagious Diseases Acts (Gesetze über ansteckende Krankheiten) sind britische Parlamentserlasse des 19. Jahrhunderts zur Bekämpfung von Geschlechtskrankheiten. Anlass für die Verabschiedung dieser Erlasse war die hohe Anzahl von Geschlechtskrankheiten unter Angehörigen des britischen Militärs. (de)
  • Les Contagious Diseases Acts (Lois sur les maladies contagieuses) sont une série des lois britanniques votées entre 1864 et 1867 destinées au départ à lutter contre les maladies vénériennes dans les villes de garnison. Elles servaient surtout comme moyen de contrôle des prostituées qui devaient se soumettre à des examens réguliers et étaient enfermées en cas d'infection. Les clients par contre n'étaient soumis à aucun contrôle. Leur abrogation, obtenue en 1886, fut un des éléments de la lutte féministe et abolitionniste, principalement de Josephine Butler. (fr)
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  • Contagious Diseases Acts (de)
  • Contagious Diseases Acts (en)
  • Contagious Diseases Acts (fr)
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