Happy International Women’s Day to all the women around the world. As we celebrate this day let us all stand in solidarity to put an end to abuse against women. We must say no to Female Genital Mutilation, Child Marriages, Dowry Killings, Breast Ironing, Rape, Domestic Abuse and all other forms of abuse against women. It is time for governments around the world to properly enforce the laws to protect women. It is time for not just talk but for action as well.
Stories of Abuse In India
In July of last year a man was arrested for keeping his wife genitals locked. Sohanlal Chouhan drilled holes on both sides of his wife genitals and before he went to work each day would insert a small lock and put the keys under his socks. The lock was discovered my medical staff at a hospital where his wife was admitted after swallowing rat poison in an attempt at committing suicide. They were unable to give Mrs. Chouhan proper medical care until her husband provided them with the key to unlock the padlock. He was charged with cruelty and causing grievous injury.
Until the rape and subsequent death of a young woman in India last December, I was somewhat unaware of the atrocities taking place against women in that country. I was unaware of the fact that India was considered as the worst place to be a woman. I was not aware of how badly Indian women are treated or that rape was a part of ever day life there.
Incidence of rapes and other crimes against women is of epidemic proportion in India. It appears that not enough is being done by the Government to protect the rights of women. This is not surprising since every major political party has fielded and continues to field candidates facing criminal charges of rape harassment and other crimes against women.
It has been reported that in the last five years India’s leading political parties have offered tickets to 27 candidates accused of rape and 260 candidates facing charges of assault, harassment and other crimes against women.
Rape is not treated as a serious crime in India and even the police whose job it is to protect the innocent is a part of the problem. The women have no one they can trust.
People should lead by example and in a situation where those who lead and those who are to protect becomes a part of the problem what message is that sending to the general population.
To bring about change in India it is going to take a whole cultural change, starting with equality among the sexes. Girls are groomed to be good wives, not independent women with their own careers. Their most important role is to produce children. They are often treated as objects who should remain pure and be controlled.
Many girls are forced into marriages and some are even murdered by their own parents. Mothers often make excuses for their sons when they commit heinous crimes against girls. The change has to begin with women raising their sons to have respect for women instead of making excuses for them
The World Health Organization estimates that between 100 million and 140 million women and girls world wide have been subjected to female genital mutilation. The report states that about three million girls are at risk each year.
The purpose of female genital mutilation is to curb the sexual desire of the girl or woman and preserve her sexual honor before marriage.. They see this as a way of guaranteeing her virginity and fidelity. The mutilation is irreversible and the procedure is extremely painful.
FGM is practiced in Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Mali, Sudan, Guinea, Djibouti, Mauritania and others. Knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass and razor blades are often used and often times these instruments are not sterile. What is even more troubling is that the procedure is often done without anesthetic.
The practice has dreadful consequences. Mortality rate is high and the survivors suffer their whole lives from the psychological and medical consequences of the operation. They are traumatized and suffer from health issues during marriage and pregnancy. Most endure rather than enjoy sex. Female Genital Mutilation must stop. No woman should have to endure this horrible form of abuse.
- Female genital mutilation: ‘I want to help other girls’ (guardian.co.uk)
- UN passes first resolution condeming female genital mutilation (rawstory.com)
I look at her battered, bruised face,
And she quickly looks away,
“I fell,” she responded, to the unspoken question,
And yet she wouldn’t look my way.
Caught up in a situation of physical abuse
Why did she think she had to stay?
“Leave him,” I told her,
And she pretended not to understand.
“I fell,” she repeated,
Trying to convince me,
Trying to convince herself.
“You don’t deserve this,” I told her,
“He loves me,” she says.
“No,” I tell her,
“Love is not supposed to hurt.”
She nods her head as if agreeing with me,
And yet I wonder,
Does she really understand?
In the US between 1000-1600 women die each year as a result of domestic violence. It is time to take charge and make changes don’t allow yourself to become part of the statistic for 2013. Engage in health and fulfilling relationships. Learn to recognize signs of abuse and remove yourself before you get trapped in a life of physical abuse.
Warning Signs That Your Man Could be an Abuser
Violent Temper and Sudden Mood Changes
If your man display violent behavior and has problems controlling his temper when dealing with others, pay attention. If he was abusive in a previous relationship, this is a warning sign that you should not ignore. You must also note that when he hits you he may try to make light of the situation. A friend of mine once came to me complaining that his girlfriend had left him. I of course asked him why. He said they had gotten into and argument and he accidentally hit her.
As the saying goes there are two sides to every story. His girlfriend who was also a friend of mine told me what really happened. She had gone to a work related function and was late in returning home. He had come in search of her and met her on her way back home. Without any provocation, perhaps just being angry by the fact that she was late, he punched her. The blow left her unconscious and regained consciousness in the hospital. She left him. He could have killed her. She said she wasn’t going back because the next time she might not that lucky. She never took him back, and who could blame her? Yet this is the mistake many women make, going back to their partners after being physically abused by them.
If he is loving and charming when people are around then becomes hostile and abusive when you are alone, do not ignore the changes in his behavior. Abusive men pick the time and place to carry out their abuse. They are often very charming when others are around to observe them, but become a different person behind closed doors. Some abusers seem to have split personality. In public they have this desire to be seen as Mr. Nice guy and it is this nice guy attitude which might charm a woman into falling for him. However when you are alone with him behind closed doors and you see his true character emerging, do not hesitate or second guess your self; end the relationship. The longer you remain the more difficult it will be for you to extricate yourself.
- Voicing Violence Award (crankygiraffe.wordpress.com)
- It Only Happens When No One Is Looking (RamonaCreel.com)
- Common Characteristics of The Abuser (geeton1.wordpress.com)
Women are often trapped in abusive relationships because they did not recognize or chose to ignore the warning signs. Since it is often difficult to get out of these relationships it is very important for you to be aware of the negative behavior of your partner and end the relationship before he gets too much control over your life.
One of the first thing an abuser will try to is to control you. He will try to make you abandon your family and friends for him. He needs to get the feeling that he is number one in your life; that he means more to you than anyone else. I recall a conversation I had with a friend of mine (who we shall call Sharon) very abusive boyfriend. Her family was upset about the way he was physically abusing her and was adamant that she should leave him. I remember him saying to me ”Sharon isn’t going to leave me, she loves me. She don’t care about her family. She will do anything I tell her to do so they are just wasting their time.” I recall him being very smug about it, so very sure of himself.
This is one of the first signs that you should learn to recognize. If your partner is trying to separate you from your family and friends, pay close attention and ask yourself, why is he doing this? It could be a situation of divide and conquer. He could be setting the stage for abuse and by controlling you and alienating you from those who care about you, when the abuse begins you will have no one to turn to for help. The first step therefore to not set yourself up for an abusive relationship is to make sure the relationship you have with your family and friends remain intact.
- 5 Early Warning Signs He’s Too Controlling (psychcentral.com)
- Saunders: Heed signs of potential abusers (newsobserver.com)
Violence against women and children is a problem faced by countries world-wide. Data shows that up to 70 percent of women experience physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. The perpetrators are often husbands, intimate partners or someone they know. Violence against women and children is perhaps one of the worst kind of human rights violation that we know today. It is responsible for more deaths than cancer, malaria, traffic accident and war combined. Domestic abuse occurs just about everywhere in society. There is no race, class or socioeconomic barrier. There is no country on this earth which can declare itself free from the scourge of domestic violence.
Physical abuse occurs on a day-to-day basis in many homes but often times only get public attention when someone dies or is seriously injured. In many domestic homicide it is usually a case of murder suicide. Sometimes children in the household lose their lives while others are left orphans. Domestic violence has a lasting negative effect on children. According to UNICEF those who experienced childhood domestic violence are 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, six times more likely to commit suicide, seventy-four times more likely to commit a serious crime against another and three more times likely to repeat the cycle.
This is a very serious situation which needs addressing. A way must be found to break this vicious cycle. We need to pay close attention to children and how these relationships affect them. They need to understand that physical abuse in a relationship is not healthy and must not be accepted as the norm. A healthy relationship is one in which people care for and treat each other right. It is about loving one another not hurting each other.
- Domestic violence afflicts one-third of adults in China (wantchinatimes.com)