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.

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8 thoughts on “Guest Post – On Domestic Violence

  1. Very good piece and I hope it’s well-received.

    I fear that in our society, even nowadays, there’s a sentiment among some creeps that females are still subject to the whims of men, whether it be via physical strength, sexual dominance or some combination thereof.

    Are we doing enough in the schools and or the family unit to genuinely respect each other regardless of gender?

  2. I don’t think this government cares anything about domestic violence if it did there would not be this talk of closing down the only haven for victims of domestic violence.

  3. Alvin,

    You could argue the last Govt didn’t care much for children when it reduced the monies The Sunshine League received by 50%.

  4. “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”.

    I wonder whether In some ways this creates a dilemma.

    As it stands, it seems very clear that women who find themselves in such a dreadful situation do have somewhere to escape to.

    I wonder though whether because the safe house is (was) there, whether we send a message to the thugs and bullies that someone will look after them – so keep abusing?

    Are we saying that the message about abuse has failed totally or in part?

    Why? What causes that failure? It’s not a complex message to get across to someone – is it? Don’t hit your partner seems to be on a par with “don’t sniff asbestos dust” to me.

    Also, why does it take 32 incidents before someone reacts? No-one “likes” being in an abusive relationship – and it must be fairly obvious early on that the relationship has changed to something that is not liked?

    To what extent do women fail to react because of “love” and because some will take the view that this change is temporary, and/or that “he” will return to normal at some point? Where on the continuum of the 32, does it kick in that “he ain’t going to change – this is permanent”.

    Do we have strong enough legislation and police powers to deal with it? Would women feel more able to respond at the early stages of a changing relationship, if they knew that society will not tolerate abusive behaviour, and will remove someone from society quickly if proven?\\

  5. Mike you have posed some really great questions that warrant and truly deserve a response. There is however just too much to say to put in a comment so instead, I will write another article. Maybe two. Thanks for that! Lolol.

  6. Pingback: Guest Post on Domestic Violence – Part Two | "catch a fire"

  7. Pingback: Guest Post on Domestic Violence – Part Three | "catch a fire"

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