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Stop violence against women

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Fri, Jul 27. 2012

Because He Loves Me

by Heidi W. Badenock and Shamora L. Scott

I cower in the corner as he stands nearby
I cover my mouth as I try to muffle my cries
I know tonight he’ll tell me he loves me
Tomorrow I’m sure I’ll see…

The attempts to hide the bruises
The looks of disdain
Forget them I’ll say!
I might be one of two women
but I am his main.{{more}}

I try my best to please him
I even rub his feet
He loves me that’s why he hits me
And why I cower in defeat
A never ending cycle, when will it change

I know that it’s my fault he says it again and again
I’m positive he loves me
I’ll disregard my fears
I’m positive he loves me
Deep down I’m sure he cares.

Beneath the cover of our Ins and Out magazine, lies a deep, dark, problem that rivals the black sands of our beaches. It is the constant battering, bruising, physical, sexual and mental abuse of our women. It transcends boundaries of race, economic and social background, religion and class.

The United Nations, defines violence against women as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’

Ban Ki Moon, United Nations Secretary General said “Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It is a threat to all women, and an obstacle to all our efforts for development, peace, and gender equality in all societies”.

Along with physical harm, women suffer mental/psychological harm which may range from domination and verbal abuse and causes clinical illnesses such as depression, the lowering of a woman’s self-esteem and self-worth, whether it be sexually or as a care-giver in the home. It is an internal agony that sometimes happens so slowly that women fail to recognize its occurrence, finding themselves in a deep abyss of regret, unhappiness, uncertainty and despair. Additionally, women face sexual abuse daily, which is any sexual activity that is not agreed to: including inappropriate touching, rape, or attempted rape.

WOMEN! REMEMBER YOU ARE KIND, YOU ARE INTELLIGENT AND YOU ARE IMPORTANT!

We believe that interventions are necessary to assist in curbing this problem. The primary prevention strategy is school-based programmes for adolescents to prevent violence within dating relationships. However, in order to achieve lasting change, it is important to enact legislation and develop policies specifically geared towards protecting women, addressing discrimination against women, promoting gender equality; and to move the culture away from violence

The health sector can contribute in preventing the recurrence of violence and mitigating its consequences by the sensitization and education of health and service providers. To fully address the consequences of violence against women and the needs of victims/survivors requires a multi-sectoral response.

As a nation founded on the belief in the supremacy of God it is imperative that the religious bodies in our communities stand up and speak out against these actions, as it is to the church many victims turn as a place of reprieve and comfort. Yes we preach love your neighbour as yourself but we forget to preach to our women that they should love themselves enough to remove themselves from their situations.

WOMEN SPEAK UP! SPEAK OUT about violence meted out to you! Do not think that your partner does not love you if he does not hit you or that you deserved it! Do not think it was your fault and do not be afraid to remove yourself from that situation!

Why do we pretend that all is well while our women suffer and a growing number of us participate in the brutality, berating, beating, and killing our female counterparts? Scan the local newspapers, ask the right questions among your circle of friends, neighbours, or co-workers on a regular basis and you’ll see and hear similar stories surfacing. The tragic case of the woman from Campden Park whose enraged spouse decided to end her life; the young lady from Vermont who met a gruesome death in the Leeward bus terminal, are examples of numerous incidents which have occurred and still occur in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Violence against women is a problem which will not fix itself, it will not end unless persons are educated and women are empowered to recognize their self-worth.

It could be our friend, sister, mother, or relative, we should not wait until it is too late. Let us show them our love whilst they are alive, let us stand together and preserve one of God’s most precious creations, our women.

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