Domestic violence/Intimate partner abuse isn’t, and should never be limited to just one day in the calendar, physical fights, or just one celebrity who has been there.
Domestic violence can be generally defined as an action in a marriage or relationship that is done by one party with aims to intimidate, frighten, blame, harm, terrorise, manipulate and harm the other party. Persons of any age, race and gender can go through domestic violence. For women, the Global Database on Violence against Women reveals violence against women as follows:
Lifetime Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence: 40.7%Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months: 25.5%.
Humanly, we are likely to feel safer when we know it is not happening to us or our immediate friends and family. In reality, however, domestic violence and intimate partner abuse exists and continues to grow amongst us. The victims are mostly silent, and the perpetrators probably very apologetic the night after.
Being a global issue, there are several myths and misleading information that keep rising with it. These myths include associating domestic violence to only physical harm, the belief that only women with low self-esteem go through domestic violence, and that leaving is a solution.
It is easy to ask a victim to leave, and God knows how often I thought that was a solution. That part, I greatly regret.
When we ask victims the question of “Why don’t you just quit” aren’t we low-key undermining their desire and efforts to leave the relationship, and sometimes the many other factors that are significant in making this important decision. Please note that this is not to justify or ask the victims to stay.
We must start asking questions like, ‘why can’t the abuser stop? What gives them the right/entitlement to abuse? / What is stopping the abuser from leaving the victim?
What leads a person to abuse the other that they claim to love: In this case, there are several reasons. They range from psychological traumas and mental issues plus social and economic factors that I will not discuss here.
Even so, for as long as we keep asking why victims stay, we will do more damage than good to help hold perpetrators accountable for their abusive tendencies. There’s a need to examine our personal and collective biasness concerning the issue of intimate partner abuse. Most importantly, we must be willing to unlearn and learn the new changes and factors that are recurrently contributors to this social issue. By so doing, we will be able to listen to, sanely and more open-mindedly handle each victims case with the attention deserved.
Also, we should appreciate that domestic violence and abuse are not the victims’ fault, no matter how many times they go through abuse. It is no one’s fault that they go through such a thing, and there’s no shame in coming out and asking for help.
A little more kind and less judgmental language.
It would be irresponsible of us to propagate misconceptions regarding this issue and burden the whole responsibility of ending domestic violence on the victims. From that point, it will be our crucial role as advocates of domestic violence to change our language while addressing domestic violence.
Gravity is the reason I fall, and Grace catches me when I fall,
From me to all of you in love. Lots of love.