The evil we need to drive out of society [Gender Based Violence]


Marriage gone bad.
Herbert Mtowo

Sometimes, when I hear certain news stories, I wonder how genuine we are about matters that concern “other people.” Take the issue of violence against women: it is now a featured radio and television talk-show topic, where genuine and fake people alike can parade behind serious issues. I watch “imitation actors/actresses” parade this issue in front of cameras as if they are competing for an Oscar. My humble opinion is that if we are really serious about eliminating violence against women, we must go to the main roots.

Domestic violence is hardly reported to the authorities. One of the chief reasons for this is that, just like verbal abuse, Domestic violence is often looked at as ‘doing the needful’.

And to make matters worse, it often doesn’t qualify as abuse in several states and countries, hence giving the authorities no say in the matter. Especially in the Middle East, Asia and Africa where there are no recorded statistics or numbers of victims of child abuse because of the large numbers and cultural impact.

It is estimated that over 50% of the children undergo domestic violence. At this point, one may want to argue that ‘but 50% of the children don’t turn out to be failures’

Together, we can reduce and perhaps end violence. I am going to anger some of my friends with the next few remarks, but I do not care. A woman is so beautiful, and her magnetic attraction is so powerful that “angels left their heavenly abode” in pursuit of her beauty and grace. Of all the “zillions” of created beings on earth, God chose her to deliver the greatest gift to misdirected people.

Those who grew up within an environment filled with domestic violence could have scars that run deep. The emotional, mental, and physical trauma of childhood that was filled with abuse will wreak havoc on your life if you don’t process what happened to you. You’ll self-sabotage yourself in many ways from becoming a ‘people pleaser’ to becoming co-dependent. You’ll stay in a vicious cycle until you decide to break it. Have the courage to face your inner demons and free yourself from the bondage of domestic violence. Don’t you owe it to yourself?

Children who grew up within domestic violence often become people pleaser. They want to make sure everyone likes them and don’t enjoy confrontation. This isn’t worth it. If someone doesn’t like you, so be it. Stop overextending yourself because you believe you can’t say “No” when someone needs your help. Politely say “No, I can’t help you at this time. Thank you for understanding.” Practice saying “No” and before you know it, you’ll be a pro at it.
Growing up within domestic violence probably robbed your self-confidence and self-esteem. To strengthen your self-esteem, say affirmations. Every day you could say, “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better or I love and approve myself or I love and accept myself.” Say affirmations out loud or too yourself. Look in the mirror when you say them and really ‘feel’ what you’re saying.

Stand up for yourself. Don’t let others walk all over you. If you have an opinion, voice it. Don’t hold back because you feel you may hurt someone’s feelings. Say what you feel in a calm and rational way. Don’t speak out of anger — speak your truth.

If you never had therapy, you may want to consider it. When you speak with a counselor, you’ll ‘purge’ yourself of your emotions of the past. Make sure you don’t ‘wallow’ in the past. Find a counselor that will move your forward in your life and not keep you stuck. In my field as a Gender practitioner and counselor, some of the things I have witnessed and the people I have had to work with who are victims of GBV hasn’t been an easy experience at realizing the impact of such on their lives.

Children don’t raise themselves — parents do. It wasn’t your fault that you grew up in a chaotic environment. A two-year-old can’t stand up for herself. She can’t stand up and say, “Excuse me, mom and dad, do think beating each other up is a good idea? Do you know what that can do to me emotionally, mentally, and psychologically? You may want to get yourself some help because this isn’t a healthy environment.” It’s not your fault. Learn from it and let it go. Move forward with your life.

I am a firm believer in the media both electronic and print media and their influence in exposing GBV.The Media should consider raising awareness as well as the intensity of the issue. The media is responsible for bringing news and awareness as well as emotions to the minds of its viewers, I believe if the Media makes a sincere effort in bringing fame to particular cases of child abuse which have resulted in death or severe injury by physical abuse, it would force the authorities to take action. You should make a sincere effort to help out any child you know who is undergoing domestic violence

At the end of the day, no media and no advertisement can be as helpful to a child as a supportive adult who understands and explains his situation. It is very beneficial to a child to have another adult disown violence and violent attitudes while promoting more freedom in the child’s life, such instances make up for a huge difference in the personality development of the victim.

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