The good times came when the masters slept or were away. The ugly returned when they woke or returned from their trips. While they were away were the times the slaves and indentured felt any semblance of freedom. Then there was the cruelty of the overseers.
It would seem that part of the payment of the overseer would often be to drag a wench (as women were often called then) off to the bushes. Usually a slave or an indentured woman, to grab a woman of the house would certainly mean death. Signs of protest were usually rewarded with swollen or cracked lips or blackened eyes. Children often heard the gruntings and cries of the women, who learned to take these acts in stride and go about their day afterwards like nothing happened. Children learned to live with it and take it as a thing of curiosity.
Were there no laws to protect women then? May be, but who to report these acts to. There were men of moral who would in turn go after these overseers, not much came of it when they did. They were not many. In their own desperate hours, they too would turn on the women too. So there was no trust.
Five Guns Blazing, brings us face to face with many atrocities that roared heedlessly throughout the history of slave colonies. Rapes, beatings, battered women and Nathaniel / Laetitia who saw it all from a small child, shielded by her disguise as a boy, though, almost not. If for anything, her mother did her one favor.