Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Putting Philosophy into Practice – By Yvonne Sam

Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Putting Philosophy into Practice

By Yvonne Sam

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month — a month dedicated to raising awareness of the fact that binary, non-binary, lesbian, gay, trans-gendered, and bisexual individuals all experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.  The entire month is designed to focus on educating the public at large about the reality of domestic violence through publicity, vigils, statistics and events. It is often difficult to get a true picture of domestic violence as often it remains  hidden within the home.      

However, I am of the firm belief that by fixating on the nebulous goal of awareness, instead of on the concrete systemic and structural obstacles deflects attention from the effective role that the community and problem-oriented policing can play in curbing domestic violence.

In Guyana media reports place the domestic violence rate between 50% and 66%, although some activists claim that the rate could even be higher, taking into consideration the fact that domestic violence is still viewed  as a personal, private or family matter

In what is still considered a male-centric society domestic violence is often portrayed as justified punishment or discipline.  From a tragic standpoint domestic violence hemisects ethnicity, social standing, status and other divides,  all of which appears to suggest that such behaviours are somewhat normative, and as a result very few including some victims, would see anything wrong with abusive behavior, often until it is too late. Further compounding this sad situation is the fact that in some cases domestic violence has become generational.  Some women have linked domestic abuse as being indicative of the fact that they are loved, a recurring myth that continues to define far too many relationships at present.

So in light of this month, and against the stated background I want to highlight efforts that offer better alternatives  for  reduction of domestic violence and struggle for a better world—–Community oriented policing comes to the rescue, with the form and function of the partnership differing within and among  the community.  The philosophy of community policing emphasizes the importance of problem-solving partnerships. The philosophy underpinning community policing is the restoration of relationship with the police and underserved communities.

The underlying principle being that it is not enough to merely get along with the police, but to get along with the purpose of making society safer. Some primary conditions that may be required to assure partnership success include: renewed police education about domestic violence, and specific training to improve their capacity to institute community policing, attitudes and myths related to domestic violence survivors, cultural sensitivity, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and mechanisms for effective information sharing.

In most communities, the goal of partnership formation is to develop a safety net that ensures victims of domestic violence do not go unnoticed or unassisted. Regular meetings can also be held to enter into a more defined collaboration, with activities providing a forum whereby community leaders are able to educate the public about domestic violence, and the intended path/ measures towards its diminution.

So as Domestic Awareness Month draws to a close, it can be seen that looking at the problem through collaborative lens would to all prospective batterers a strong message send. Domestic violence is a community problem that calls for a community solution and community policing is that solution.

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On October 28, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    “In what is still considered a male-centric society domestic violence is often portrayed as justified punishment or discipline.”
    ~ I support Yvonne Sam’s observation. This was our father’s justification for the beatings we received as children. With time and distance, I see his violent behavior as a release from his own frustrations and impotence in an unjust society. Alcohol unleashed his demons. Women and children, the most vulnerable in our society, suffer the consequences.

  • Youman  On October 29, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Very sad but I think looking at this if you didn’t beat up your children and manners them then you are an inferior man .most of this was alcohol related and being mentally ill.

    As you know most of it was behind closed doors because the man is jeckyl and Hyde character and Needed a good beating himself.

  • marc mattews  On October 31, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Sista you Once again are admirably provocative…it is sugested that VIOLENCE
    Is THE PROBLEM, …where ever it is exercised…that is what we need investigate together…its nature, its source….purpose…???!

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