Sunvoice

It’s Time We Stop The Cycle Of Violence And Abuse Against Women

“My mother suffered in silence and so did we. What was her fault I ask myself? What was our fault – we were children, we couldn’t do much to help our mother come out of that. “I have endured the lasting scars of the trauma. “Scars that I still bear today. Those scars were ripped open by you Honourable Bulitavu.
09 Aug 2019 14:13
It’s Time We Stop The Cycle Of Violence And Abuse Against Women
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Rosy Akbar.

Editorial:

It’s not often when we see a Member of Parliament break-down in chamber. Or openly share a painful part of their life story with the world.

Yesterday, the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Rosy Akbar chose to be vulnerable and shared a painful part of her childhood life.

A life where an abusive father constantly brought pain and fear to his family.

In between tears, Ms Akbar recalled the heart-wrenching events like it was yesterday.

“I witnessed first-hand the destruction domestic abuse has on a family. A family that’s secretly torn apart, tries its best to maintain an image of a happy and loving home.

“A family that hides its pain with a smile to the neighbours around us to avoid the stigma of victimhood.

“I have endured the lasting scars of the trauma. “Scars that I still bear today. Those scars were ripped open by you Honourable Bulitavu.

“My mother suffered in silence and so did we. What was her fault I ask myself? What was our fault – we were children, we couldn’t do much to help our mother come out of that.

“I stand here with so much admiration and respect for my mother, for walking out of an abusive relationship.

“I still recall my last day of primary education, the day my mother left, the man who we called our father. The man who was supposed to love and respect us.

“I still remember that fateful early morning after my uncles had taken my mother away, and our house got burned down.

“It was only through strings of our neighbour and my elder brother that we were able to be pulled out of our burning house-God knows how the house caught fire, but I think it’s obvious how it did.”

Ms Akbar’s story and that of her mother is a powerful testimony of survival – of choosing life over death and hope over fear.

It’s also a reflection of the reality that still exists in Fijian homes even today.

By sharing her past, she has also brought to the fore that the smiles we see of families looking happy together, could in fact be a veil covering both abuse and pain.

Ms Akbar’s statement along with most Members of Parliament, was supportive of the motion that Parliament strongly condemns racist and derogatory statements about Indo-Fijian and iTaukei women made or published by Mosese Bulitavu in the media, including social media.

As responsible citizens, it’s time we stop the cycle – of both verbal and physical abusive. Our children are watching and they will mimic our example.

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