Sat | Jan 22, 2022

Letter of the Day | Ja needs a mindset change on gender-based violence

Published:Tuesday | April 27, 2021 | 12:07 AM


I recall years ago witnessing a man beating a woman at an educational institution in full view of others. I went to her assistance, only for the gentleman pull a firearm and point it at me. Impulsively I got out of the way. But what shocked me was that the woman being attacking started to curse me and said she did not need any assistance, and why did I get involved in people’s business.

The other onlookers started to laugh and make fun of how I was being nosey and that I could have been shot. The gentleman left in a huff and the lady went back inside, cursing and carrying on. I later learned that the man was a policeman and off duty at the time.

The worrying part is why some women think it is okay for abuse to be a part of a relationship. I could not fathom that a beating is a day-to-day part of any relationship; when I was going to school, we were taught that hitting someone is an abuse. There are some women who think getting beaten by a man is nothing and is not a big deal, as it shows that the man loves them.

We need to educate our women that it is never justified or okay for abuse to be used to show love or concern. Additionally, we need to speak to men that it is not okay to abuse women. We must also speak about men who are abused by women but are ashamed to speak about it in public and report the matter to the police.

Also, I came across this incident where a female police officer ridiculed a man who went to file a complaint against his wife for abuse. The female officer apparently said a woman cannot abuse a man, so he should kindly remove himself from the police station.

Jamaica is having a crisis of settling our differences amicably. No society can claim to be civilised with this kind of violent acts being committed every day. It also seems that the political will is lacking to address this problem. We need to have a sustainable, national effort to address this issue. While violence cannot be permanently removed from the society, there are steps we can take to this.

We need to have an honest, open conversation on how we relate to each other and how to resolve our differences amicably.