What are the key drivers of increasing awareness when it comes to domestic violence? How can you help someone you know? In this post, writer Sheba Siddiqui reflects on domestic violence in the South Asian community and talks about her opinion on this volatile subject.
This article was first published on Sheba’s personal blog here.
I hate domestic violence. It is the one thing in life that drives me insane. I hate hearing about it, seeing it, jokes about it, anything related to it. I have seen domestic violence firsthand. I know how it unravels a family, what it does to a couple, their kids and their community. So it is INCREDIBLY difficult for me to turn a blind eye when I hear of someone going through this. It breaks my heart.
I wish people were strong enough to leave or go against their culture/beliefs/family and stand up for themselves. Domestic violence to me is not just physical, it’s also the aggression involved. Screaming at your spouse, threatening them, throwing things, scaring them. It is NOT acceptable. At least it shouldn’t be. I know it doesn’t just happen with husbands….I’ve heard of many women who beat or abuse their husbands. I don’t know any personally but I’ve watched enough Oprah to know that women are capable of this too.
But I’m talking about the men. In Canada, in 2011, there is no rhyme or reason why a woman should put up with this. There are OPTIONS. And if people say that they won’t leave because of the kids, BELIEVE ME, the kids don’t know it yet or maybe they can’t verbalize it, but they want it to stop. They would much prefer the quiet. Even if it means a smaller house, fewer toys, no vacations, whispers, etc.
So it really shakes me to the core when someone tells me they are being abused. I get so angry. I feel like literally shaking them almost to wake them up. Since when in ANY circumstance, is it acceptable to have someone put their hands on you to hurt you or scream at you to intimidate you? In my books, it is not. And if you have kids, you are teaching them that this is acceptable behavior because YOU are accepting it. NO ONE deserves that – no matter what they’ve done. And how little does the abuser think of himself to actually let himself get that out of control as to strike someone he supposedly cares for and who quite often, is the mother of his children? This is something I will never understand.
He’s sorry. He lost his temper. He’ll never do it again. Really? I mean, come on, really? If it happened once, it can and quite possibly will happen again. If he is that out of control, intimidating, humiliating, get out. Really. Get out. Even if it means your parents are shamed by you, your community talks about you, you need to get a job or lose your lifestyle. It is worth it in the end. It really is.
Above all, do it for yourself. Your self-respect and self-worth. Do it for the next generation. The kind of man your daughter will want to marry. The kind of husband you want your son to be to his wife.
A saying I heard a few years back that struck me is “Love doesn’t hurt.”. I really believe that. Love does not hurt. If it hurts, either physically or emotionally, then someone is not loving properly and truly. When you love someone, you do NOT hurt them. You do not put your hands on them, put them down, degrade them, mock them, humiliate them. That is not love.
That’s just my two cents. I am learning to bite my tongue when I hear of situations like the above because, hey, not everyone will agree with me. But I guess that’s where a blog comes in handy. My blog, my opinion.
What are your thoughts on domestic violence and how can we put a stop to it? share your comments with us!
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