Bermuda and Scottish Independence

One week to go…

Exactly one week from today we will know the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum, to be held next Thursday.

Due to a quirk of personal circumstances I am not able to advocate either a Yes or a No position, although I will say that: Scottish independence

  • I am eligible to vote in the referendum.
  • I am currently in Scotland.
  • I will be voting in the referendum.
  • I have already decided how I will vote.
  • I am extremely unlikely to be changing how I will vote between now and the referendum.

Bermudian Independence…

All that notwithstanding, I think it is important to begin a conversation on what Scottish independence might mean for Bermuda.

As most of us are aware, Bermuda had a referendum on independence in 1995, one which was held under certain conditions (a schism in the then governing UBP, a call for a boycott by the then Opposition PLP, and a hurricane hitting the day before).

And under the Premiership of Alex Scott we had the somewhat abortive Bermuda Independence Commission.

In general, support for Bermudian independence has hovered at around 25-30% – it’s a minority position.

Colonial Carrots?

From my experiences and interactions with supporters of the status quo, opposition to independence for Bermuda stems from a mix of:

  • Nostalgia for ‘empire’ and ‘Britishness’ – in some ways, despite our accents, we’re more British than the British, in a stereotypical way.
  • Fear of the unknown.  I’ve found this particularly strong amongst White Bermudians, for whom, in my impression, our continued status as a colony gives some psychological comfort.
  • Home fees tuition in the UK (introduced in the mid-2000s).
  • EU citizenship.
  • Economic concerns.

Of these, I think – at least for the younger generations – the carrots of home tuition fees in the UK and EU citizenship are the most important factors.

These two carrots are, however, the most under threat in the UK today.

The Westminster Government has changed the tuition fee structure in such a way that the carrot of home tuition is no longer as attractive as it once was.  The costs of even home tuition fees there are steadily increasing.  While still substantially less than international fees, the threat to their attractiveness is ongoing.

And the last two years has seen the rise of the right-wing UKIP party, which is fiercely opposed to the UK’s membership within the EU – and which has forced the UK Government to commit to an ‘in/out’ referendum on the EU in 2017.

As such, if these two carrots are removed, and a growing London-centric UK, which acts in the interests of the City of London, against the interests of Bermuda, is remaining a colony of the UK still going to be of interest to Bermuda?

In other words, will staying a colony remain as attractive if these colonial carrots are lost?

Independence Imaginaries

In addition to the potential loss of the colonial carrots of home tuition and EU citizenship, the Scottish independence movement – and actual Scottish independence in the event of a Yes vote – has the potential to captivate the imagination of Bermudians about the potential of Bermudian independence.

I think it’s inevitable that Scottish independence will cause many Bermudians, especially those already in favour of Bermudian independence, a boost to the idea of independence for Bermuda.

The Scottish independence movement is already animating the existing independence movements in Catalonia and the Basque region (eastern and northern Spain, respectively), as well as separatist movements in Italy and elsewhere.  I expect Quebec is also keeping an eye on the situation.

Back in the 1980s, in the midst of the Cold War, there was a concern in DC about the ‘threat of a good example’.  This was spoken about in terms of an actually well-working socialist state (be it Cuban, Grenada, Allende’s Chile, Manley’s Jamaica or Aristide’s Haiti), and how it might inspire other revolutionary movements.

In this case a successful independent Scotland could well serve as an inspiration for others, including Bermuda.

The very act of imagining an independent Bermuda, inspired by an independent Scotland, can in a very real way be the first step towards actual Bermudian independence.

The ‘winds of change’ that largely swept away the era of formal imperialism in the post-war decades of the 20th Century was, in a very real way, a ‘domino’ effect as one after another colonised peoples drew inspiration from the successful anti-independence movements in Vietnam, India and Algeria.

Colonised peoples saw that colonialsim could be defeated and that other colonised people were able to govern – even if they ended up governing as badly as their previous colonial administrations.

Scottish independence – even a narrow No victory next week – can inspire and animate independence movements in Bermuda and the remaining UKOTs.

What would be the impact of both a rejuvenated Bermudian independence movement AND the loss of these aforementioned colonial carrots?  A ‘perfect storm’ leading to Bermudian independence?

Practical Consequences?

Regardless of the more long-term issues, of inspiring independence or the loss of colonial carrots, in the event of Scottish independence next week, there will be consequences for Bermuda.

At a very minor issue, would Bermuda need to change its flag?

After all, we have the Union Jack in the corner of our flag.  While Australia and New Zealand do too, they came to independence under the UK.  They can retain the Union Jack as a nod to their history.

If Bermuda remains a colony under the rest of the UK (rUK), and the Scottish component of the Union Jack is removed, what justification can there be for retaining the Bermudian flag as it is?

Another, more constitutional question, is, if both Scotland and the rUK are both successor states to the UK, and Bermuda is currently a UKOT, what happens to the UKOTs?

My guess is we’d all go with the rUK, but if the rUK is wanting out of the EU and an independent Scotland is intending to remain in the EU, could Bermuda choose to become a Scottish Overseas Territory (SOT) rather than a rUKOT?  I’d imagine that would require a referendum in Bermuda.

And what negotiations would there have to be between the rUKOTs and an independent Scotland?  Currently we enjoy home tuition fees there (which are governed under a different law than rUK) – would we be able to retain those?  Maybe play a reparation card even?

Could Bermudians choose to (and be eligible for) Scottish citizenship and passports in the same way we’re eligible for UK citizenship and passports?

These are just some initial questions – I’m sure there’s lots more that Bermuda will have to ask.

It’s worth asking though, has the Government put together a plan in the event of Scottish independence?

2014 PLP Elections

The PLP’s Constitutional Carnival of Democracy

As Bernews reported earlier today, this year is an election year for the PLP as per their constitution.

At this years Annual Delegates Conference, scheduled for October 23rd, all positions of the Party Executive will be up for election.

I understand that the positions (see Article V of the PLP constitution [PDF]) open to election this year are:

  • Party Leader
  • Deputy Leader
  • Chairman
  • Deputy Chairman PLP logo2
  • Secretary General
  • Assistant Secretary General
  • Membership Secretary
  • Organiser
  • Three (3) Assistant Organisers
  • Treasurer
  • Assistant Treasurer
  • Public Relations Officer

Now, while all of these positions are equally important to the party, with each providing a vital role, I think it’s likely that the ones that are going to capture the attention of both the general public and PLP members are going to be those of Party Leader, Deputy Leader, Chairman and, possibly, the Public Relations Officer.

At the moment the only known candidates, in a public sense, for any of these positions are that of Party Leader, where, according to the Bernews article cited above, the incumbent Marc Bean will be running along with Walton Brown.

I think we’re likely to see a third candidate for the Leadership as well, and also a couple candidates for the Deputy position.  Whether or not we’ll see a joint ticket ‘team’ or not, I’m not sure.

Strong Democratic Tradition

While I am no longer a member of the PLP, I have always been impressed by the PLP’s ability to have a healthy democratic conversation, through these elections, which has allowed them to consider alternative visions and directions for their party, without tearing themselves apart into factional ‘civil war’.

Despite how some outside of the PLP, especially their political opponents (be they UBP/OBA or simply anti-PLP) have sought to frame these contests, they are not the factional schisms that these opponents dream of.

For sure, passions can rise, and there are sometimes groups which may be described as factions, but in general the PLP is strengthened by these contests, not weakened.

Indeed, it helps allow any disagreements to be discussed openly and constructively, rather than letting them build up and be expressed in a negative, cloak and dagger manner, or, worse, through a schism or ‘palace coup’.

Now, of course, it doesn’t always work, as our history has shown, first with the PLP-NLP schism in the 1980s and, more recently, with the 2003 election night controversy.

Now, to what degree those two incidents stemmed from a failure of internal democracy, an ugly streak of misogyny, irreconciliable ideological differences, impatience or something else, well, I’ll leave that up for discussion.  Personally I think the main animating forces are a partial failure of internal democracy, some misogyny and impatience, in varying measures….

For the most part though, the contested nature of these elections is a strength of the PLP, and never a weakness, despite the desires of their opponents.

Contested Elections Strengthen Functional Unity

There should always be a contest for the leadership positions, and the PLP is stronger for having them.  They have a strong and proud democratic tradition which allows for competing visions to be articulated while retaining functional unity.

I am looking forward to the various candidates for these positions, and particularly those contesting for the leadership, putting forward their visions for the PLP and why they’re the best candidates for those positions.

I wish them all the best and encourage, especially the leadership contenders, to fully articulate their visions for progressive labour and what direction they intend to take the PLP.

Following their defeat, the PLP has been undergoing a period of internal reconstruction – being in Opposition serves as a catalyst for such evolution – and this leadership contest allows the wider party to gauge where they’re at and where they want to be, and how to get there.

I am confident that whoever emerges as the Leader of the PLP will act in a spirit of doing what’s best for the PLP and making full use of the talents available to them.  In other words, I’m sure there will not be any spiteful actions taken out against the loser, but rather a spirit of camaraderie and mutual interest.

Which way forward for the PLP?

As noted, I’m no longer a member of the PLP, but I am looking forward to looking in from outside while the PLP engages in their constitutionally mandated carnival of democracy.

It is this tendency of the PLP – the contestation of the Leadership – which helps tor recreate and rejuvenate this party.  It is a key source of their strength and unity, however paradoxical it may seem to those outside it.

Just as the regular contesting of parliamentary elections helps with our political evolution and development of new policies and visions for Bermuda, so does the internal elections of a party.  Having these positions contested is a mark of a healthy and vibrant organisation, while a de facto coronation is a symptom of a sterile and moribund organisation at risk of imploding under its own dead weight.

Guest Post on Domestic Violence – Part Two

This is another guest post by former Senator Davida Morris, a follow up to her earlier post on domestic violence.

‘A Reply to Mike’

I decided to break down my response to Mike’s questions into two parts.

This part will deal with domestic violence in and of itself to give a better understanding of what goes on in these kind of relationships and why people act as they do, providing answers to his questions which are highlighted.

Guest writer, former Senator Davida Morris

Guest writer, former Senator Davida Morris

First, a definition from the Centre Against Abuse’s website.

Domestic Violence (DV) is a “pattern of unwanted behaviour(s) using power and control by one person over an intimate partner”.

Understand, DV is not just about hitting a person, or verbally abusing them, and rarely does it manifest on its own.

There is financial abuse – controlling their partner’s money; social abuse – controlling who they see.

The website lists eight different forms of abuse altogether.

To what extent do women fail to react because of ‘love’?

The most detrimental form of abuse in my opinion is emotional abuse – behaviours (verbal or nonverbal) that are designed to control and undermine the emotional well-being and sense of worth of another person.

By breaking down who the victim is, they can be made to believe that they deserve such treatment.

The victim is grateful for the ‘love’ they receive because they don’t believe that they are worthy of anything better.

The bruises of physical abuse can heal in a few weeks but emotional scars take much longer to heal and require work to overcome.  Without any support to counteract the negative messages they have received the victim is more likely to stay with their partner.

It must be fairly obvious early on that the relationship has changed to something that is not liked?

Most perpetrators of domestic violence don’t come out the gate swinging and punching.

They woo, they show caring, they show love.

That is how you draw a person in.

It’s once they have their partner where they want them, living with them, married to them, isolated from others, that they begin to change.

Some will take the view that this change is temporary, and/or that ‘he’ will return to normal at some point?

Abuse in a DV situation ins’t a constant thing.

It can be intermittent.

If it was happening all the time, every day, then the victim would be more likely to leave, but as this is not the case there is time for victims to justify in their minds what has occurred.

The cycle of abuse is this:

  1. The ‘honeymoon’ period where everything is great.
  2. Tension building, where things are less than ideal.
  3. Things get progressively worse until the explosion or abuse happens to be followed by the honeymoon period where perpetrator apologises and they ‘make up’, all is lovey dovey and wonderful, until…

The honeymoon period is the ‘normal’ victims attempt to maintain.

There is a kind of glossing over the bad.

With the breaking down of self-esteem the ‘he didn’t mean it’ and the ‘it’s my fault, I made him mad’ comes in because in the victim’s the honeymoon period is the ‘real’ part of their relationship.

Why does it take 32 incidents before someone reacts?

While I’m not sure why 32 is the ‘magic’ number for victims to leave a DV situation there are so many reasons why people stay.

  • They are economically dependent on their partner.
  • Religious beliefs.
  • They stay for the kids.
  • They don’t believe they are capable of living on their own.
  • They think they will never find another relationship.
  • They were brought up in an abusive home and feel like this is normal.
  • They are afraid due to threats by their partner.
  • Abuse escalates after a failed attempt to leave.
  • Cultural expectations.

Where on the continuum of the 32 does it kick in that ‘he ain’t going to change – this is permanent’?

I think the answer to that lies in circumstance.

There needs to be some catalyst for change.

It could be that they saw a television show where abuse is depicted and it clicks.

It could be they have someone supportive in their life who sees what’s going on and refuses to allow them to stay in the relationship, or one day, as they contemplate their life and what it has become, they decide they really have had enough.

Or, and I truly hope this doesn’t happen too often, they get beaten so badly they realise that their relationship just ins’t right.

A person who has been beaten physically and mentally is more likely to leave if there is someone in their life who can provide them with a feasible alternative.

That’s what the Centre Against Abuse provides.

That is why it is so needed.

That is why we as a community need to ensure that it does not close its doors.


The Centre Against Abuse’s website is a really great reference point.

They have questionnaires to help people determine if they are in an abusive relationship or if a person is an abuser.

There are great resources there, as well as safety plans, guidelines for work and how to support a person in an abusive relationship.

For the months of September, starting today (September 6th), the Dress for Success thrift store in St George’s will be selling brand new and used clothing between the hours of 10am and 3pm.

All proceeds will go to the Centre Against Abuse, and I encourage people to go by and take a look, or make a donation.

Bermuda cannot afford to lose this very real and very needed service.

Bernews Series on CCTV

I’ve got a new OpEd in Bernews today.

It’s actually the first of a three-part series focused on the issue of CCTV.

Do you feel you're being watched?...

Do you feel you’re being watched?…

This is a new, experimental, approach I thought I’d try, a focused series where I try to critically investigate a certain topic from different perspectives, with the objective of trying to get people thinking about what may be taken as ‘everyday life’ in novel ways, understanding them outside of the official and dominant narratives.

I originally conceived of this three-part series as part of a much wider series focused on issues of crime and criminality, and all that involves – how we define crime, how we react to crime, and what we can do about it.

Following this focus on CCTV I intended to segue into a look at alternative built environment approaches to crime – instead of a defensive surveillance approach, the gaze of CCTV, how we can develop an approach to urban planning the encourages a more positive, pro-social, behaviour.

I haven’t gotten beyond the drawing board stage of that vision yet however.

This series was originally conceived as a long-term project for the Bermuda Sun, which went defunct before it was able to run these pieces (I had written them well in advance for them), and when they shut down I wasn’t sure whether to continue with it.  Nonetheless, I approached Bernews about running them, and I’m thankful that they have!

Maybe it’ll encourage me to finish the next series that was supposed to complement this one…

Guest Post – On Domestic Violence

This is a guest post, written by former Senator Davida Morris as a follow-up to my own earlier article.

On Domestic Violence  

Guest writer, former Senator Davida Morris

Guest writer, former Senator Davida Morris

With the possible closure of the Centre Against Abuse’s safe house, and the recent attack on lawyer Georgia Marshall by the estranged partner of the divorce lawyers client, I am yet again made aware that as a woman in 2014 I still have to be wary of the opposite sex.

Somewhere in the back of my mind is the awareness to be on guard against any and all men because one can never know what thoughts they harbour in relation to women.

In light of the closure of the shelter I thought it important to look at why it is important and needed in our country.

Jonathan kindly provided the 2013 report from the Bermuda Health Council [PDF] and the most recent crime statistics [PDF], and in reading them I became increasingly concerned about the hole that the shelter is leaving.

The thing that struck me most was that the younger demographic (18-39) were more likely to have experienced domestic violence.  I naively thought that the younger generation would be less susceptible because the message against abuse has been out there for so long that surely if they got into an awful situation like that they would soon leave.

Upon further reflection on the numbers I thought maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised considering the more prevalent messages we have received in reference to sex and relationships.

Considering Western society’s preoccupation with sex that pervades our advertising, movies and the worst culprits, misogynistic music and music videos.  I don’t think enough is being done to counteract these erroneous messages which produce warped views on sex and relationships, which ultimately impact how men and women view themselves and relate to each other.

There is a real need to teach about healthy relationships.  Domestic violence, in simplistic terms, is a mix of low self-esteem and a need to exert control, and there is a real need to improve the self-esteem of men and women.

I want to believe the increase in domestic violence reports are due to increased reporting and not an increase in incidents.  Considering it takes on average 32 incidents for a person to report abuse I really hope that it’s due to increased reporting.

The closure of the safe house leaves a hole in our society that we simply cannot allow to exist.

The problems will not go away with the closure of this shelter.

This gap must be filled, not just for the sake of women fleeing abusive relationships, in need of the opportunity to rebuild their lives and self-esteem, but for the future generations so that they know this deplorable behaviour is not acceptable.

In the meantime one can only hope that people who have domestic violence as their lived reality have people in their lives who are willing to talk to them, build them up and support them in escaping their situation.

Very Quick Thoughts on the OBA ‘Coronations’…

I hope to write a more detailed post later, but I just wanted to jot down a few quick thoughts here, on reading the news of the OBA having ‘elected’ their Leader, Deputy Leader and Chair.

OBA Elections Coronations

The three candidates ran unopposed for their respective positions.

No one challenged Mr Dunkley for Leader.  No one challenged Mr Bob Richards for Deputy Leader.  No one challenged Ms Woolridge for Chair.

These were elections in name only.  In reality they were essentially coronations.

Election or Coronation?

Election or Coronation?

Without having a challenge for the positions, the candidates have not been forced to explain why they should hold those positions.

A similar issue arose in the UK back in 2007, and the points remain valid for Bermuda in 2014…

Far from Mr Dunkley’s statement that the OBA has ‘had time for serious introspection and honest, frank discussion’ there’s no evidence of that.  The fact that there were no challengers, no alternative ideas, renders this serious introspection and discussion little more than a monologue.

These elections offered the OBA an opportunity to demonstrate the introspection and frank discussion their ‘new’ Leader claims.

There remain plenty of unanswered questions arising from the Jet Gate affair, and the report released by Mr Hollis shortly before his resignation.

These questions have not been addressed – and this ‘election’ provided an opportunity to do just that.

And just with safe seats breeding arrogance and complacency for their holders, with no challenges for these positions the newly crowned are prone to complacency and arrogance in their comfort of their elevation.

Having challengers in elections is not a sign of division within a party, rather it is a sign of a healthy democracy and provides the winner with legitimacy.

A Compromised Chair

Some time ago, in reaction to the acting Chair of Ms Susan Jackson, I pointed out that this acting Chair is compromised by her also being an MP, and as such effectively serving two masters – and as a result being compromised.

The role of Chair is supposed to be to represent the wider membership of the Party, and to help try and balance the competing interests of the wider membership and the parliamentary caucus.

The current situation is actually much worse than the compromised position of Ms Jackson as acting Chair.

As a Senator, Ms Woolridge serves at the pleasure of the Premier, her Party Leader.

Ms Woolridge is now at risk of being effectively fired as Senator should she, wearing her Chair hat, act in a way contrary to the interest of the Premier/Leader.

Ms Jackson could not be ‘fired’ as an MP by the Premier/Leader.  She could instead be simply denied promotion to a Ministerial position.

I’d originally drafted a post, but never finished it, where I analysed the OBA’s current constitution and pointed out some necessary reforms, primarily to remove such risks of compromised positions like we see in their current Chair.

Mr Hollis was, I think we can mostly agree, a generally autonomous Chair.  This was questionable under Ms Jackson, and is undeniable under Ms Woolridge as long as she remains a Senator.

Do the Shuffle?

With the formal elevation of Mr Dunkley to official (and not acting) Leader, and thus Premier, I expect a Cabinet shuffle, or, at the very least, a shake up to the Senate.

As noted above, in order to ensure the integrity of the OBA Chair, Ms Woolridge should be relieved of her Senate seat.

Additionally, with all due respect to Mr Brangman, I believe he is perhaps the most likely to be at risk of being dropped as a Senator.  His recent appointment with Morgan’s Point has helped bring the OBA into disrepute, or, at the very least, provided yet another distraction for them that could easily have been avoided.

Mr Fahy too has been the source of much controversy, however I think his position is secure, at least as a Senator.  Whether he changes ministries in a shuffle, I don’t know.

Mr Baron I think is secure too, despite his own recent controversy.

I’m not sure about Ms Swan.  While she certainly has potential, she’s been almost a non-presence in the Senate and in politics in general, despite the odd PR bit.  I give her kudos for trying to highlight some causes, such as the closure of the Centre Against Abuse’s safe house last week.  I just don’t think she’s made the impact she could have to date, and this makes her vulnerable in any Senate switch-up.

At a minimum I think we’ll see at least one Senator changed.  At a maximum I think we’d see three Senators changed.

Whether they’ll be replaced by the unsuccessful 2012 OBA candidates remains an open question – there’s a few there which I think the OBA would likely want to develop in preparation for the next election (I’m thinking Nick Kempe and Andrew Simmons in particular).

Domestic Violence in Bermuda – Some thoughts on a bad week…

Some thoughts on a bad week…

This hasn’t been a great week for Bermuda in terms of domestic violence.

I don’t mean that in the sense of a sudden surge in domestic violence incidents – I have no way to say if that is the case or not.

Rather, I’m referring to the sad – and shocking – news that the islands only safe house, operated by the Centre Against Abuse, has been forced to close due to lack of funds, and the disturbing incident of a prominent divorce lawyer being assaulted in Supreme Court by the ex-husband of one of her clients.

Centre Against Abuse Safe House

Bermuda is now without a safe house for women escaping domestic violence.

This fact alone is a sad condemnation of Bermuda’s misplaced priorities regarding how we spend our money – for an island of our wealth, it is shocking we cannot fund such an important service, and in doing so we are condemning women and children (who make up the majority of domestic violence victims) to abuse and possibly even murder. Domestic Abuse

An article earlier this year states that the safe house provided shelter for 31 women and children fleeing domestic violence in 2013.

That may not sound like a lot of people, but for those involved it provided a crucial lifeline of support in escaping a nightmarish situation.

The same article makes clear that rates of domestic violence greatly increase over the summer months, and as we’re still in the summer (and the upcoming stresses of the new school year), one can only imagine the demand for the safe house is likely highest right now – and just when it’s needed most it’s no longer available.

Some Stats on Domestic Violence

There’s some interesting stats available on domestic violence as it relates to Bermuda.

A report by the Bermuda Health Council in 2013 [opens as a PDF] found that one in eight adults had experienced domestic violence, with partner violence being particularly directed against women and those in the younger age group (see p.61), with women being three times more likely to be the subject of domestic violence than men (see p.62) – that is, roughly one in five of all women in Bermuda reporting domestic violence.

Another report, the Health Survey of Adults in Bermuda 2011 [opens as a PDF] – I cannot find a more recent report and don’t know if they even exist – found that about a third (30%) of all Bermudians have experienced physical abuse from an intimate partner, compared to about a quarter (23%) in 2006 (see p.96; p.95 also provides additional information).

It’s not clear what the current status of domestic violence in Bermuda is, with the most recent crime statistics, quarter two for 2014 [opens as a PDF], not explicitly referring to domestic violence.

Nonetheless, these stats do indicate that incidents of sexual assault and ‘crimes against children’ have increased, which may reflect increased rates of domestic violence.

It’s also important to note that domestic violence is often under-reported.

There’s stats that women only report domestic violence after 32 incidents of domestic violence (see the header on this link; I believe it originates from a WHO report, but I’m not sure which exactly).

It’s also important to know that domestic violence doesn’t just affect the victims themselves – it also leads to greater healthcare costs for us all, as well long-term consequences – we know, for example, that abused women often have long-term mental and other health issues resulting from the abuse, and children growing up in an environment of domestic violence tend to exhibit a greater risk tendency of substance abuse, as well as engaging in violent acts themselves later.

The safe house run by the Centre Against Abuse isn’t the magic bullet to end domestic violence, but it is a key part in dealing with the problem and helping to break cycles of abuse.

I encourage anyone who can to reach out to the Centre Against Abuse and see what they can do to help them out and get the safe house back up and running as soon as possible.

Lawyer Assaulted

Almost to underline the issue of domestic violence, one of Bermuda’s most prominent divorce lawyers was assaulted on the grounds of the Supreme Court, leaving the woman lawyer requiring hospital treatment.

The man who attacked the lawyer was involved in a divorce case, the lawyer representing the man’s ex-wife.

I’m not interested in getting into the ins and outs of the personal case of that divorce issue, other than to say that, beyond the need for improved security at the Supreme Court, this would indicate a certain mentality of resorting to violence, especially as a form of abuse.

A Quick Note

Just a quick additional note to say that domestic abuse is not restricted solely to physical violence, but also involves emotional and sexual abuse to. 

If you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic violence, there is help out there, and the Women’s Resource Center or the Centre Against Abuse can provide you with assistance.