It’s admirable to know that there is at least a certain section of society concerned about the mental and physical violence that women and men have to undergo, but I believe that activism which encourages victims to voice their sufferings should not just stop there.
Voicing to the world about the brutality one undergoes or underwent is the first step to empowerment and emancipation. However, to see the end of gender based violence, victims should not be empowered to shed light about the violence they endure but also offered a strong safety net that allows them look beyond their past and begin a new life, free from violence. This safety net and support system is what will encourage other victims to shed light about their situation.
Victims should not be subjected to victimization yet again by an unforgiving society. Stigma will only kill the victims’ spirit to move on, and build a safe life away from violence, that dogged their past. I personally believe that the foundation of gender based violence begins with attitudes. A man’s inherent superiority complex and a woman’s strong feelings self unworthiness, leads one gender to believe that it has unconditional power to oppress the other and the other accepts this repression as a norm.
This superiority complex among men, which is subtly drilled in since childhood becomes a fire breathing monster when one becomes an adult, thus giving them the notion that abusing a woman is a natural right that has been bestowed to them. Most women on the other hand, have been made to believe by archaic societal norms that men are the superior beings; therefore they create this notion in their subconscious mind that it is acceptable to be beaten, harassed or abused.
Sadly, most married women, have become silent victims who suffer the most, because of a ‘so called’ legal bond that prevents them speaking against the violation of their rights. I believe that gender based violence will end that day parents treat their sons and daughters equally, thereby setting an example that women and men are of equal status. Whether you a man or woman, you should not tolerate any kind of mental or physical abuse hurled at you by anyone. Violence is unacceptable- tolerating it will only validate it, further. Everyone deserves better.
Guest post by Shabnam Farook. She is a food columnist whose passions include good cheesecake, sushi and music by John Mayer.
Day fifteen features a photograph by T.
Intimate partner violence is a little studied, yet frequently occurring phenomenon in Sri Lanka. IPV occurs in many ways, including physical, verbal, psychological and sexual abuse by a spouse. Reports show that there is a high prevalence of abuse such as marital rape and sexual abuse, wife beating and assault with a weapon.
Sri Lankan society tends to take the very backward view that what happens within the home should stay within the home, and that some abuse is always a part of marriage. The Demographic and Health Survey 2006/2007 shows that between 20-50% of women think a husband is justified in wife-beating for reasons such as “argues with him”, “goes out without telling him” and “refuses to have sexual intercourse with him”. A study conducted among a sample of undergraduate medical students at the University of Colombo revealed that “33.4% of the students justified wife beating, and 63.1% stated that they believed women bear a proportionately larger responsibility for the violence perpetrated against them” (Jayatilleke et al, 2010)
Perceptions and attitudes play an important role in how women are perceived within a relationship, but also affect the help that is available to them after violence occurs. The attitudes and sensitivity of police, healthcare workers and the community are important in helping to alleviate IPV.
While society turns a blind eye, many reasons have been cited for IPV. Alcoholism, early marriage age, low income and existing patriarchal attitudes, among a slew of other reasons, all contribute towards IPV. None of them, however, are an excuse.
One day left of the 16 day campaign… Tomorrow 10 December, will feature the last photograph of the 16 day online campaign against gender based violence by the WMC campaign against GBV.
For more information about this campaign click here
T is a member of the steering committee of Beyond Borders. She works in the development sector and has mad culinary skills. She’s a writer, a poet and she dabbles in photography. She blogs at Dance in a Triangle. Her opinions are her own.
Day 3 features a photograph by TheGargoyleInJeans.
Domestic violence is common worldwide and it’s quite rampant in Sri Lanka. Most often women don’t leave their abusive husbands because- she has nowhere to go, her husband apologises each time he assaults her saying he loves her or threatens to kill her/ her children if she leaves him.
Thousands of cases of domestic violence go unreported each year. Women receive no help from the police as they assume it’s a household/personal problem that should be solved by the couple and does not warrant police intervention.
In families which mothers are abused, children are affected too. They will carry the psychological trauma or the belief that domestic violence is natural and acceptable into their adult life.
Domestic violence is not restricted to wives. It includes children, grandparents (abused by their adult children or grandchildren), siblings (when one abuses the other) and even men who are abused by their wives (though this is rare it is recognised in the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act in Sri Lanka).
Watch this blog for the next 13 days. We’ll be posting a featured photograph each day till 10 December as part of WMC campaign against GBV.
For more information about this campaign click here
TheGargoyleInJeans is not a member of Beyond Borders but we look forward to more of her contributions. She’s a highly talented photographer and more of her work can be found on her Facebook page.
Day 2 features a photograph by Megara Tegal. This picture is about the universality of gender based violence (GBV). It’s not restricted to a particular demographic. GBV is stifling women in all societies- whether it’s verbal or physical abuse.
Watch this blog for the next 14 days. We’ll be posting a featured photograph each day till 10 December as part of WMC campaign against GBV.
Megara Tegal is a member of the steering committee of Beyond Borders. She’s a journalist, a student and a tree-hugging hippy. She blogs here- The Puppeteer. Her opinions are her own.
Violence against women takes a dismaying variety of forms, but the worst form which snatches away the lives of millions of women each year are “honor killings”. For a lot of women in some parts of the world, the prospect of an honor killing is a bitter reality. Each year, uncountable amount of women are killed, burnt, sold, exchanged and handed out to different tribes for compensation for a conflict in the name of honor.
From thousand years, women suffer in the form death……..which to their men is restoration of the man’s honor. Women even faintly suspected of an ‘inappropriate’ relationship face hideous forms of violence. They are stoned, shot, beaten until death, and attacked by axes by their brothers, fathers, husband and even cousins.
Women keep on being victims to this merciless tradition and shed their blood for a custom which has not assigned by any religion, any culture, but only an imagined honor.
WAKE UP!!! Campaign against honor killing is a movement which aims to bring small changes in the lives of these victims of ‘honor’. Targeting around 5000 people, the campaign would work towards raising the voices of those women around the world who have been forever silenced by these hideous customs.
WAKE UP!!! is currently at work here in Pakistan; soon we will be launching its website for online membership for international change agents. For the moment you can support by,
- Joining our Facebook group and showing solidarity with the cause.
- Helping us spread the word about the campaign by posting this information (emails, blogs, etc.)
- Writing in your thoughts and your feelings about this crime for our campaign e-newsletter.
- Participating in discussions, or if you know of a community affected by “honor killings” then by sending us more information, pictures, or videos.
- Identifying as a Change Agent! in the cause against honor killings
To get involved in the campaign or for more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WAKE UP invites you to be a part of this Global campaign and be the change agents against honor killing!!!
– Khalida Brohi.
Khalida is deeply involved in the WAKE UP!!! Campaign working with Participatory Development Initiative, an organization based in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. She’s also an action partner for Oxfam International Youth Partnerships where she had her first interaction with Beyond Borders.