Guyana: Domestic Violence: Women are the key

Domestic Violence: Women are the key

JANUARY 9, 2014 | BY KNEWS |  EDITORIAL

domestic violence photo: Domestic Violence domesticviolence.jpg It would seem that the number of women killed as a result of domestic conflicts is increasing at a rapid rate. This is a trend that has been worrying the authorities for some time but precious little was done. Indeed, pressure on the police pushed them to respond to every report of domestic violence.

There was once a time when the police would sit back and say that such a dispute is a private matter and that the victim should pursue the matter in court. And a few did, but the majority had no relationship with the court except through the police. It was this recognition that caused the pressure on the police to help such victims.  

Today, the courts are less sympathetic to the abuser. Jail time is now mandatory as are restraining orders which do precious little to help the victim unless the victim has time to call the police. We are aware that the female victim is often reluctant to call the police because she feels that to cause the arrest of her abuser is to threaten her income or line of support.

Many of them have gone to court only to beg the magistrate to let the abuser off with a warning. This has got to change. Recently, the call was for the court to ignore the plea for a warning. Sadly, prosecution is difficult without the testimony of the victim. But the courts are doing their best to put the abusers behind bars. They tend to ignore the pleas of the victim and send the abuser to jail, even if it is for a short time.

Already for this year, two women are dead and one critical. Some others have been injured. And there seems to be no ease in sight. The reason for this escalation of domestic violence was once believed to be copycat. Men would hear of others abusing their spouses with seeming impunity and they would attempt the same.

It is not that domestic abuse is something new; it has been with us for as long as many of us have been alive. Men beat their wives for whatever reason and the woman did not have the support. She could not return to her parents who simply said to her that she should deal with whatever came her way. Some ran away but most stayed. Few were killed.

This time around, death is almost a certainty of domestic abuse. Men simply feel that they could kill their spouses and get away with it. In fact, most of them believe that killing is the solution to their problems. And strange as this may seem, women are responsible for this. Mothers set store by their sons and more often than not, would show resentment to their daughters-in-law.

There are various organisations that believe that there is a special measure that could reverse the tide. These organisations believe that men should be the leaders in the reversal of domestic abuse since they are for the greater part, the abusers. But the focus should be on the mothers. They are the people who actually fashion their sons.

Sociologists may credit this hike in domestic abuse to the fact that mothers are no longer as active in their sons’ lives largely because they are single parents who must spend time putting food on the table. If only there could be a reversal of this trend then mothers must be the prime movers. They should instill in their sons the need to respect women, to see every woman as being their surrogate mother.

But there is more. More often than not, an abused woman turns to her mother-in-law for some comfort. She would report any abuse to that woman who must act decisively and this is where the relationship between the man and his mother comes to the fore. But regardless of that relationship the man always listens to his mother.
The bottom line is that women are the key to ending domestic violence.

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Comments

  • de castro  On 01/10/2014 at 5:42 am

    In the animal kingdom MALES battle for supremacy over their contempories.
    rivalry….in some cases inflicting fatal injuries.
    In the human kingdom MALES compete for the attention of females.
    In the bird kingdom MALES display their plumage to attract female.
    In the human kingdom JEALOUSY and TRUST are the two factors
    that can lead to domestic violence….among others.
    X v Y cromozones the scientific explanations.
    Women driven by hormones
    Men driven by testosterone.
    Get the balances right and “romance” end result.
    And yes its the women in society that can resolve these mediobiological
    differences….mothers daughters and granddaughters…affectionately.

    Male chauvanist
    Kamptan de feminist

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 01/10/2014 at 5:25 pm

    “But the focus should be on the mothers. They are the people who actually fashion their sons… The bottom line is that women are the key to ending domestic violence.”

    This article tapped the rage that I have struggled with for years following the abuse of men in my life as a child, woman, wife, and mother. The writer has no understanding of the male-dominated society in which mothers must navigate.

    I raised my two sons alone to respect women but had no influence on the lessons they learned from their father and other men around them about disrespect for women.

    The day women stop bringing children into this world will be the beginning of the end of violence of men against women.

    • de castro  On 01/10/2014 at 6:02 pm

      Respect the operative word …..respect for “elders” ….. Parents teachers
      others …..self respect…..discipline the essence of respect.
      It is a two way street…..give to receive….

  • Cliff Thomas  On 01/10/2014 at 6:20 pm

    I have always said that if a husband/reputed husband lay his hands on his wife only once, it will always happen. The wife must not let it happen a second time. She must put on her running booths and never turn back. I told this to my two adult daughters. Fortunately, they are well educated and married to two decent husbands who seem to understand each other well.

  • de castro  On 01/10/2014 at 6:29 pm

    Not wishing to put petrol on fire may I add
    I know of men who were “abused” by their women ..some actually
    beaten ! Domestic violence is now a serious offence in UK and police
    must taken necessary action to enforce….before they would turn a blind eye…
    Step in right direction.
    Kamptan

  • Ron. Persaud  On 01/10/2014 at 11:23 pm

    “The bottom line is that women are the key to ending domestic violence.”
    I could not disagree more!
    East Indian Guyanese men, especially, treat their womenfolk (except their mothers) with scant respect.
    Believe me!
    I was part of that culture for my entire career in the sugar industry.
    I listened to their conversations as a daily routine.
    I heard the screams of wives and children as the head of the house carried on in a state of drunkenness.
    I even counseled, as circumstances would permit. But the days were long gone when the “Manja” would hold court on Monday afternoon and made decisions about these personal and tricky issues.
    A critical issue is the example each parent set for the children.
    Boys grew into men following the example of their fathers; and girls grew into women following the example of their mothers.
    I have some experience of this.
    I was given authority over my younger siblings – an authority I abused – and was praised for it by those who did not know better.
    I can only exhort the “young generation” of men to break this cycle of abuse so that their sons will grow into a generation of caring men.
    When men care, relationships bloom.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 01/11/2014 at 10:20 pm

    Here is a link to some disturbing related information in Canada: http://www.canadianwomen.org/facts-about-violence

  • de castro  On 01/12/2014 at 6:05 am

    Interesting indeed. Some may even argue that “sex” is an act of dominance
    others the act of love …..affectionately so….
    However the future emancipation of women seems bright.
    Hey women were not allowed to vote until 1938 in UK.!!
    Today we have surrogate mothers…where “money” the motive.
    Gays adopting children….where will it all end !! in sorrow !?

    Kamptan

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