Island News

Violence against women

Written By : FIJI SUN NEWSROOM. Violence against women is happening in our community – in the home, in the workplace, in those places we relax and have fun. Places
09 Aug 2008 12:00

Violence against women is happening in our community – in the home, in the workplace, in those places we relax and have fun. Places where we should feel safe.
No respect – No
We look for relationships so that we can share part of our lives. In a good relationship, the partners support each other, sharing the good times and helping each other through the tough ones.
When someone matters deeply to us, and those intense feelings of love and respect are returned, it enables us to face the world with confidence.
Things will not always go smoothly. Building and maintaining a healthy relationship needs a commitment from both partners to work at it.But it is worth it, because in a good relationship people feel good about their partner and good about themselves.
Not all relationships work that way, no matter how much we might want them to. When there is violence or intimidation the relationship can become very destructive and physically and emotionally dangerous.
While every person’s experience of n abusive relationship will be different, there are some common patterns of controlling behaviour and abuse, which are often evident before the relationship becomes physically violent:
1. Possessiveness
l Checking on their partner all the time to see where they are, what they’re doing and who they’re with.
l Trying to restrict where they can go and who they can see.
2. Jealousy
l Accusing their partner of being unfaithful or flirting without good reason.
l Isolating their partner from family and friends, often by rude and objectionable beaviour.
3. Put Downs
l Humiliating their partner, either publically or privately by attacking their intelligence, their looks or capabilities.
l Constantly comparing their partner unfavourably with others.
l Blaming the partner for all the problems in the relationship.
4. Menace & Threats
l Yelling, sulking and deliberately damaging things that are of importance to their partner.
l Threatening to use violence against their partner, the partner’s family, friends or even a pet.

It’s Not OK
It’s not OK to be physically threatened or scared into things which make you uncomfortable or unhappy just because you are in a relationship.
It’s not OK to be put down and pushed around – shoved, hit, slapped, kicked, punched. No one deserves to be treated this ay. No one should use violence – or a threat of violence – to make you do what you don’t want to do.
It’s not OK for someone to use the excuse that they are tired, stressed, over worked or under financial pressure as a reason for their violent behaviour.

Breaking the Cycle
of Violence
A violent relationship may not be violent all the time. Some of the time, violent people treat their partners very well. They can be very loving and sorry for their violent behaviour. It can make it hard to see what’s really happening. There is a strong chance that the violence will get worse over time and the relationship more abusive.
After a violent incident, it’s common for both the abusive partner and the victim to try to make it OK – make excuses, apologies, promise to change. But there is no excuse for this behaviour and just saying sorry is not good enough. Sometimes the violent person will blame the victim – “it wouldn’t happen if you did what I aid”.
Things may settle down for a while – the abuser may feel guilty, the victim may try to go along with whatever they want. Usually it’s only a matter of time before the build-up to violence starts again.

Talk To Someone
Listen to your feelings and trust them – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Talk to someone who cares about you. Talk to your parents, a family member, a friend, or someone in your community like your doctor, the police, or a religious leader.
Find someone you trust and tell them about what’s happening to you. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed.
You are not responsible for somebody else’s violent behaviour. Your first responsibility is to yourself – get safe and stay safe.

Can Help
Talking about values and what is considered responsible, acceptable behaviour is an important part of building young people’s understanding about relationships.
Most young people think relationships-going together-should be fun. As they grow into early adulthood they start to look to relationships to provide support, affection, closeness.
Early on, peer group can play a very influential role in determining what is ‘fun’. But parents too play an important role. Family behaviour and expectations provide an important model for young people experiencing their first relationships. These early experiences often set the pattern for future relationships so don’t be frightened to talk to your children about relationships.
We all need to understand and encourage the importance of those fundamental values that are the foundations of healthy, strong relationships:
Respect, Communication, Sharing, Independence, Trust, Companionship, Honesty
The experiences of your own family and friends can be a useful starting point. Even television programmes can provide examples of different types of relationships and how people treat each other. What do your kids think about how the characters react? Would they react the same way? Be sure to give them plenty of room to tell you how they’re feeling about things.
Try to encourage them to stay connected with their friends and engaged in activities outside what might be their first intense relationship. These networks may be an important source of support if there are problems.
Young people can be unaware of some of the negative consequences that might result from thoughtless sexual behaviour.
Even when someone is legally old enough and gives consent, indiscriminate sexual activity can have serious consequences – the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, loss of reputation, being talked about, embarrassment and anxiety.
Good relationships don’t work without affection and respect.

By Sunila karan
Counsellor/Personal Development Trainer
Ph: 6727861/9996807 For stress management/counseling & communication training
Contact 6727861/9996807.

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