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Social purity movement

Join this Vicfix campaign and help reveal fascinating details about Victoria's social purity movement

Vicfix is improving the searchability of digitised newspaper articles and making the hidden details of Victoria's rich history available for everyone.

About the social purity movement

Two parts Christian puritanism and one part proto-feminism, the late-19th-century social purity movement was rooted in earlier temperance and moral reform movements. Included in its broad mission were the goals to abolish prostitution and change the accepted view of women as the guilty party in so-called 'offences of seduction'.

Historical Victorian newspapers reflected the prevailing mood of social anxiety, publishing instructive stories of ruined men and scandalous women, and reporting on well-attended social purity meetings throughout the state.

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The Salvation Army, wood engraving, 1883

Social purity movement

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