Domestic violence

  • Living in Domestic Abuse surroundings
    Are we membercare colleagues doing anything about it?

    "Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It is a threat to all women, and an obstacle to all our efforts for development, peace, and gender equality in all societies." Ban Ki moon, United Nations Secretary General, 2007.

    Recently I attended a workshop on “Dealing with Domestic Violence/abuse”. It was quite interesting as various facilitators, men and women came and facilitated the workshop. The focus was on women dealing with Domestic Abuse. There was no mention of men as victims of ‘Domestic Abuse’. However few facilitators and participants acknowledged that men are also victims of domestic abuse. How true! But the majority of domestic abuse happens to women across the world. We have to realize that.

    It was a great workshop on Dealing with Domestic Violence emphasizing issues in India. There were issues addressed which one cannot imagine.
    I believe that Domestic Violence or abuse is not an issue in only one country or in developing countries, but it is an issue across the world. It is an International issue. No matter which part of the Globe one comes from Domestic violence is existing in different forms. It has to be addressed and not swept under the carpet.

    Question that comes to mind? As a care giver or member care person are we addressing domestic violence? Are we looking around for various mission agencies, churches to see if they are dealing with domestic violence victims or survivors in their own agencies? Are we talking about these issues? Are we acknowledging the occurrences of violence at home and helping the victims? Or we are keeping mum?

    It is also an issue in Christian homes, churches, missions and in the mission field where missionaries are victims of domestic violence. It is usually hushed and swept under the carpet.

    Domestic Violence has various forms: sexual assault, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse and economical abuse. Many women go through a nightmare and torture in their own homes, and live in perpetual fear of their partners. It is a very uphill task to unveil the fears, hurts and trauma of women to help them in the process of building trust and understanding to talk about pain, injury on their mind and body. Often the abuse is endured for years till the victim comes to a point of seeking counseling and help from the legal system.

    Few symptoms to look for: Injuries to the hands, neck, head, face, chest, abdomen and genitals, or a history of miscarriages, multiple bruises, burns and scars in different stages of healing, signs of stress, headaches constant complaints of not feeling well, using lots of alcohol and medication, difficulty in concentration, unable to sleep, withdrawal or going into isolation from relatives, friends , colleagues and neighbours, moody, suicidal attempts, frequently away from work without any explanation, school or social gatherings etc.

    Many times it is shocking to see the pain and trauma on those who are going through domestic violence. There is much to talk about regarding this issue and how one can help and counsel the victims of domestic violence.
    On the other hand we also need to look at the perpetrators of domestic violence why they are doing it and what are the causes so they can also be helped.
    Lets’ be an agent of change and move forward in bringing awareness and giving membercare to those who are victims of domestic violence.

    Pramila Rajendran (India)
    Associate Director Membercare and Leadership Development
    WEA Mission Commission

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