Opinion | WEEKEND

Domestic Violence Time to Speak Up

Growing up as a child my brothers and I were taught to always honour and respect our mother and all woman whatever race, reli­gion, colour, creed etc. In fact we
04 Sep 2017 19:11
Domestic Violence Time to Speak Up

Growing up as a child my brothers and I were taught to always honour and respect our mother and all woman whatever race, reli­gion, colour, creed etc.

In fact we all revered our mother as the matriarch of the family and one who would administer sound advice and also be a person we would turn to for love.

Therefore it has always been very distressing to me when I am given accounts of men being abusive and violent towards women and children.

Interestingly in our Pacific region the domestic violence figures towards women and children are startling.

At present we have one of the highest rates of do­mestic violence globally and it is a problem that is not going to go away.

Do I have a magic wand and a solution for this problem, unfortunately not, but maybe the time has come to openly tackle this unspoken tormentor.

Maybe it is time to call the National Help lines and have someone listen to your troubles confidentially. As they say a problem shared is a problem halved.

Today I will introduce you to two ladies who have been through the trials and tribulations of living through domestic violence, but have become a bea­con of light for other women and show to some de­gree that you can push back and be heard.

Charlize Theron – Hollywood actress

When she was just 15-years-old, world renowned actress Charlize Theron watched as her mother, Gerda, was forced to fatally shoot her alcoholic and violent father in self-defence after he had been phys­ically and mentally abusing her for years.

In a interview recently the actress opened up about surviving the traumatic event and years of abuse.

In fact in some respects this horrific incident strengthened her mindset and fortitude to become a more stronger and resilient person and not become a victim of events that could have left her broken.

It was indeed a great tragedy to see her father killed, but in reality it could have been so easily Ms Theron and her mother who ended up the victims of their father.

To add to this Ms Theron says she is deeply sad­dened by the events that fateful night but it does not haunt her at all, in fact she says she is completely at peace knowing that her father could not unleash his fury on both of them again.

Ms Theron adds that no woman or children deserve to be subjected to any forms of domestic violence from a man and woman and male advocates need to take a stand against this evil in our society.

Christina Aguilera – International singer

Christina Aguilera became passionate about fight­ing domestic violence after seeing it firsthand grow­ing up in New York.

Her father was a US Army soldier and was regu­larly physically and emotionally abusive to both Christina and her mother.

Growing up Christina felt that her father should have been her protector and not her persecutor in the family household, but once again she like Char­lize Theron became stronger through these events.

It is a subject that she is passionate about advocat­ing for and feels that there is no place for this crime in society today. Ms Aguilera feels it is a subject that has been very hush, hush in the past which in fact has empowered the perpetrator by using the wall of silence to continue to abuse the victim.

In today’s modern world there is finally assistance in the form of help lines and counselling services where women and children can call and get confi­dential advise and help in how to deal with this once taboo subject.

Ms Aguilera says: “It makes people uncomfortable and there’s a lot of shame around domestic violence, but that’s why for me, it’s so important to speak my truth and help others to find theirs and to find their own hope in a hopeless situation.”

In my personal opinion, domestic violence of any kind is not acceptable in any shape or form and has to be stamped out not just locally, but globally.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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