Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Letter of the Day | If your partner is violent, don’t be silent

Published:Wednesday | March 8, 2017 | 3:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Silence continues to be the strongest bond against domestic violence in a society cushioned by an alarming chauvinist, patriarchal mentality oftentimes upheld by women.

There is an unwavering need to protect men who violently attack women and children, by our own mothers, grandmothers, aunties, cousins and friends, while our women suffer endless brutality with visible and invisible scars. Interestingly, and without scientific fact, mothers of domestic violence abusers are seemingly the ones providing the biggest blankets to cover their sons' evil and unbecoming habits by blaming their sons' victims. There is no end to this silent pain.

 

Support of mothers

 

Perhaps the most disheartening reality of this all are the mothers who continue to support their wicked, low-self-esteem sons with love and understanding because evidently, to them, the girlfriend or wife provoked him, and just maybe if she was more submissive, the son would not have mercilessly attacked her.

These mothers, in empathising with their sons, will leave no stone unturned in their vicious attempt to protect their sons' images.

'Of course, he retaliated and broke your arm because you are too controlling. Why are you preventing him from attending our family gatherings? 'What on earth is happening with our women in this society?

Are we so consumed by our own blindness to violence that we would even attempt to justify violence against our own? Or are we too gullible to even make use of common sense in determining that yes, your son is lying and needs serious psychological help?

Many victims of domestic violence will not make a report right after it happens. It destroys their mental health and confidence and drives them to insecurity. They also will stay in these abusive relationships to help the abuser become better. They will forgive him even when it occurs over and over.

Not one of these women will leave the situation until they feel safe. We may never comprehend the choices of these victims, but it is the reality. Therefore, when you are told to report these monsters immediately, do not wait for the victim to change their minds. Get them help. Be kind and understanding. Getting over domestic violence is a process of growth that takes time.

We as women must stand together and teach our boys to respect our girls and treat them as their equals.

If there are unnecessary bureaucracies to getting justice for victims, remove them. This is too serious of a matter to always demand evidence of scars, witnesses or one decision- maker. Make speedy arrests and short court hearings. Make special arrangements for legal aides to assist victims in these proceedings.

Let us as a society begin to expose these demons to ensure the survival of our girls.

RENEE COWAN

rencowan@gmail.com

Kingston 10