The scourge of our society is domestic violence
Physical and verbal abuse
Domestic violence is an ugly word, as it implies, in most cases, that a woman is suffering abuse. This abuse can be verbal and/or physical and leaves its victim marked for life. Most times, the woman does not dare to speak up. Depending on where she lives, society might blame her for it.
She wants to protect her children and suffers in silence. She does not dare to tell her family less they think she is a terrible wife and mother. Often, thru many years of humiliation, she has lost all self-esteem and thinks she is worthless.
She is brainwashed into thinking she is inferior and therefore does not find the strength to protest and try to find help.
Some countries do not provide any statistics on domestic violence, and some give wrong numbers on purpose.
Some statics on the U.S.
It seems that in the United States, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are reported as having been physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually. The leading cause of injury to women from age 15 to 44 is domestic violence.
I am surprised that the number of abused men is so high, but the percentage of men reporting abuse is lower than from women. That means that the number of abused men is a lot higher than in the statistics.
That would mean the given number of 835.000 is on the low side. American ladies seem to be aggressive, sometimes more than men? I wonder what brought that on. To be emancipated, does that include an inclination for violence? I do not know, but I am puzzled.
You will find domestic violence on all social levels, but it seems that having financial difficulties, unemployment or low wages can trigger aggression. Being stressed and anxious makes one prone to overreact.
Where you are born does make a difference
Depending on where the woman lives in the world, many awful things can happen to her. Without going into lengthy explanations or very much in-depth, I would like to tell you she might experience one of the following atrocities.
The most common types of acid used are sulfuric acid and nitric acid. The attacker intends to disfigure, maim, torture, and kill the victim. Most of the time it is thrown at the face, causing disfigurement, blindness and sometimes it can even dissolve bones.
Besides the physical consequence, there are social, psychological, and economic consequences. Bangladesh had 3,512 cases reported between 1999 and 2013.
In India and Pakistan, these types of attacks are increasing every year. The UK has one of the highest rates of acid attacks per capita in the world. In London only, there were 1,200 cases of acid attacks recorded from 2011 to 2016.
The mother of the pubescent girl will say that breast ironing or breast flattening is done to protect the girl from sexual harassment. To prevent an early pregnancy that would harm the reputation of the family. Like this, the girl can study and does not get forced into early marriage.
They use hard or heated objects for this method. Grinding stones, coconut shells, a wooden pestle normally used for pounding tubers, hammers which are heated over coals. This is practiced in certain parts of Cameroon, West, and Central Africa, in Benin, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Togo, and Zimbabwe.
Female genital mutilation
UNICEF estimated in 2016 that 200 million women living today in 30 countries – 27 African countries, Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen have undergone the procedures. This can include partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
This can happen within a few days of birth up to puberty.
The thought behind these practices is to control women’s sexuality. The problems are many. Infections, difficulty urinating and passing menstrual flow, not being able to get pregnant and problems during childbirth as well as fatal bleeding.
I have spared you the more gruesome details of the different methods used.
A disturbing film
Did you by chance see Desert Flower, a film from 2009? It is the authentic story of a Somalian nomad who was circumcised at 3, sold to be married at the age of 13. She escaped Africa and became an American supermodel. At the age of 38, she became the UN spokeswoman against female genital mutilation.
To have Lotus feet was considered a status symbol, but it caused women a lifelong disability. It probably started among upper-class court dancers during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in 10th century China.
It spread to all social classes through the years and by the 19th century; it is estimated that between 40 to 50% of all Chinese women had bound feet. It seems that nearly 100% of upper-class Chinese women had bound feet. The oldest girl of a lower-class family might have her feet bound in the hope she could marry higher up.
The toes were folded under the foot till they would break. They were wrapped so tightly that they never really mended. Additionally, the arch of the foot was also broken. Every time the bandage changed, it was tightened, causing the broken foot to take on its new shape.
No need to say this procedure caused great pain for a long time.
The Manchu Kangxi Emperor tried to stop this practice in 1664 but was not successful. Only in the 20th century did this practice die out as the result of anti-foot binding campaigns. The last shoe factory Zhiqiang Shoe in Harbin, which made Lotus Shoes closed its doors in 1999.
They practice this form of domestic violence in countries on or around the Indian subcontinent. This awful act happens when her family refuses to pay additional dowry. They murder the woman in the crudest way by her husband or his family. In most cases, they douse the young woman with kerosene and then set her on fire, killing her in a most painful way.
In India, this has been a major problem since 1993, with 2,500 death each year.
In 1986, the Indian Parliament added dowry deaths as a new domestic violence crime. They can make a charge of dowry death if a bride, within 7 years of marriage, is killed, and it is proven that she was subject to cruelty or harassment by her husband or relatives of her husband. The instigators will get a sentence of at least 7 years up to life imprisonment.
The burning of the widow
700 years ago, a practice, called Sati, was started that would require widows to be burned together with their deceased husbands. It is said to have started among the ruling class or Rajputs in India. The women preferred to die after their men had been defeated in battle, to prevent being claimed by the victors. The British rulers outlawed this custom in 1829 in India.
You might remember the famous film, Around the world in 80 days (1956.) The film was based on the story of Jules Verne. David Niven saves a young widow, Princess Aouda played by Shirley Mac Laine, from burning on the funeral pyre with her late husband.
There are many more awful things happening to women in the entire world like: Forced abortion, Forced marriage, Forced pregnancy, Marriage by abduction, Honor killing, Rape, Forced prostitution, Human trafficking, etc.
I think that it is unnecessary to expand this list more than with this information. It is more than clear that women worldwide suffer just because they were born a woman.
Domestic violence in Spain
I live in Spain and every afternoon I look at the Spanish news at 15:00 hours (3:00 PM). More than often, one hears about a new victim of domestic violence. This makes me sad as each man is born of a woman. He has a mother, grandmother, aunts, and this should make him realize that women are part of creation, the same as he is.
We are different but equal and can complement each other.
Recently, I read a special story in the newspaper. The title was: My dog has given me back the freedom I once lost to domestic violence.
A great initiative, the foundation Mariscal
The Foundation Mariscal donates dogs, which are specially trained to women who have experienced domestic violence. This project started 8 years ago and has changed the lives of abused women. It takes 300 hours to train a dog for this new job.
The dog and the owner have to go through this intensive program, as it has to be sure they are an excellent team and can cope with real-life situations.
The dogs which are chosen for this training have to have some typical characteristics. First of all, they must have an imposing physique, but most important is that they have the instinct of protection.
The women who are given a dog to accompany them in daily life regain their confidence. These women dare to go out on the street and talk to men again.
The project of Angel Mariscal has already donated 50 dogs to women in Spain. These dogs help women to come back to normal life. This is a really admirable project which more countries could follow up on. We should eradicate domestic violence from our world.
All violence in whatever form should not exist in a civilized world. This will only happen when we realize we are all equal.
I was born in Australia and my parents had Dutch nationality. I spent most of my life in European countries. I never suffered domestic violence. I realize how lucky I am. Humanity has still a long way to go.
A very helpful guide
Well, what can one say about this world’s best seller?. The writer gives advice to couples after years of successful counseling men and women on the bumpy road to understanding each other.
He shows that men and women react differently in conversation and how their relationships are affected by male intimacy cycles and female self-esteem fluctuations.
This book will give you practical suggestions on how to reduce conflict, which in itself can already be the key thing you need to salvage your relationship.
We have gone through an unusual and cruel 2020. Even if 2021 has just started, it looks the same as last year. The third wave of COVID-19 is in full bloom, and the end to this is not in sight. One of the many problems that appeared is the intensifying of domestic violence in our society. Nerves are on edge more than ever.
People considered nice and well-balanced suddenly show an aggressiveness not known before. If you have knowledge or even witnessing domestic violence, report it immediately.
I have made a special page for you with a collection of things you could find interesting. Before you leave, have a look at Recommendations.
Source: Wikipedia and the Sur in English, Nov. 16th to 22nd 2018, Article by Alvaro Frias and Juan Cano
Photo Source: Pixabay
You might be interested to read the following post.
This article explains a lot about domestic violence and different kinds of domestic violence that occur all around the world. Me personally have not experienced domestic violence and thankful for that.
When I was reading all these domestic violence I really felt confused and a question in my mind that why would they ever do that to another person. Well you are right we have a long way to go.
Thank you so much for posting this. If it is not for this article I wouldn’t have known some of the domestic violence.
Good Morning Sujandar,
When one writes a post like this it is quite shocking the information you find. It makes me sad that these things happen the same as all the wars which inflict such pain. It seems the human race is stuck in its evolutionary process so the road ahead of us is still very long.
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Reading this article nearly brought me to tears. It sickens me what goes on not only in other countries, but in our own as well. I had heard of most of those practices, but never the breast ironing. Whichever is practiced, it is just so cruel. I can’t even imagine HOW a person brings themselves to put that type of abuse on another person. Like you, I have thankfully never had to experience domestic violence, but my heart goes out to those who have. Thank you for bringing awareness to this. It’s something that needs to be discussed and dealt with swiftly!
Good Morning Steve,
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I can imagine you got emotional reading what people do to each other. When I was investigating and thinking of how to write this post it was not easy for me either. There are so many beautiful and good things in this world but finding out about these things makes you forget that for a moment.
It is very difficult to eradicate old traditions. People follow what their parents, and the society they live in, teach them. I think only educating people will bring a change in behavior.
Hi Taetske, I must say that your article is very emotional and in some case sad because it is incredible what is happening over the world both men and women but mostly women. I do not support any type of violence and especially to the female gender. Family acts of violence are happening every time more and more and that is something very disturbing. I hope that everyone who reads this will understand how important is women but also family, let’s stop that violence!
Good Morning Daniel,
It is very disturbing to find out about all these horrible things people do. We are still far from living peacefully together on this planet. Those old traditions should be eradicated. From small on children should be educated to respect each other and accept the difference in race and color.
In these modern times, people are so stressed with jobs and earning money. It affects family life which is the most precious one can have.
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No matter what your gender is domestic violence is a terrible thing to go through. There isn’t no excuse to hurt another human being or creature simply because you can’t control or process your own emotions or feelings. I think that abusers are always broken in some way and try to break others so that they can feel normal.
You are right that young men and women should be taught to respect and honor each other. Life’s is hard enough without us yearning each other apart. I don’t think it is right for another person to modify someone elses body to bend to their will. Hopefully one day through proper education and a more united community, atrocities like the ones you have listed will be a thing of the past.
Good Morning Renton,
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It all starts with education in the home to then continue at school. I agree with you that abused people often become abusers later on in life. This is so sad as they have not experienced love only violence. People are not born criminals, racists, or abusers, one is formed by experience and example.
Old traditions are difficult to break, I think only education can bring on a change for the better.
domestic violence needs the society and everyone at large to eradicate it, imagine a situation where people take laws into their own hand by taking lives all because of tradition,for instance somewhere in Africa where someone is burnt to death for stealing instead of waiting for the police they take law on their hand
in my opinion I will say domestic violence starts from our home and can be eradicated if dealing with it from our household.
Good Morning Seun,
The family is the first place where children learn good or bad things. This will mark them for life. I was lucky that I was born into a loving family. Domestic violence is awful and people knowing about it should report it not look away. To take the law in your own hand is no solution as it creates more violence.
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What a beautiful and touching post, I live in Spain as well and I know exactly what do you mean when every morning I turn on the News and I hear about that woman being attacked by her husband or boyfriends or ex. It is so sad we live in a society that should be at its best in the growth and development and sometimes it seems at its worst.
Being aware of what happens around us is important. I have two boys and I teach them to love and respect women, I hope I am doing a good job. Education starts at home and sometimes we rely too much on school and teachers to teach our future husbands, partners, fathers what it means to respect and love another human being
Good Morning Barabara,
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Parents are an example for their children and seeing the parents living in harmony and understanding will teach children their first life lessons. It is sad that our world is still so unbalanced, this is reflected in our actions in the environment and one can also see it in how we interact on a personal level.
So nice to read how you educate your two boys to me it sounds that you are a very good mother.
Prior to reading this article, I was only hearing the word ‘domestic violence’ in the news, but never really understanding it in greater depth. But thanks to your guide Taetske, I’ve gotten the much needed awareness of what’s happening in the world.
And I must say, I’ve never heard most of the cruel things you’ve mentioned here, which by the way all felt painful just by reading them. In our country though, what’s common are husbands beating up their wives (and sometimes the other way around). I can’t remember anything else since my mind doesn’t pay attention to this issue often.
Good Morning Dominic,
We will not be able to advance as a human race as long as we commit cruel acts. Be it wars, domestic violence in all its gruesome facets, or just letting people live on the street without shelter and food.
Good to hear you found this information helpful to reach your awareness of what happens in the world. Yes, it hurts even only reading about these things. We need to open our eyes to the facts as they happen every day in our world.
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Interesting post. You have covered domestic violence as well as women’s torture all across the world. See, where we are heading to!! I’m from India and I agree with you 100% on our evil dowry system and ancient Sati pratha, that was horrible!!
We still have dowry system existing in our culture and yes, sadly there are acid attacks too.! But there is also a good community among us and all across the world, which makes life to live and enjoy. I’m sure such evil practices will be removed among us all, including Muslims, who have triple divorce system!!
Thanks for sharing this useful post. It’s bit disheartening to read. But let’s hope for the best, and better world ahead.
Good Morning Akshay,
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All human beings are equal and we all have the same rights and obligations. Human cruelty is one of the most difficult things to eradicate. It seems we are all born with the capability to hurt but not all people do it. It also depends on the traditions and education so it is not easy to overcome these things which might have existed for many centuries.
Domestic violence is still happening around the world, we can see women are the victims in domestic violence particularly in third world countries as well as developed countries like the US. I am Bangladeshi by born. I have observed some domestic violence around myself. We became civilized but still, the human race has a long way to go.
Good Morning Fahim,
That is a phrase I also use, the human race has a long way to go. I believe that one day we should become enlightened beings but looking at the world, I can see the road is still long.
One should teach little children if they are boys or girls to be nice to each other. The younger they are the better. Obviously, parents should be a good example for them.
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Domestic Violence is.a worldwide problem which is really hard to eradicate. I think it’s because of the culture imposed on different nation such as woman is just secondary to man. There are men who thinks they have the right to abuse “their” woman. Society plays a bigger role on this too. If we want this to change then everyone must follow any given transformative and sustained approach by the government to stop this.
Recently, my friend was beaten by her boyfriend and she was locked inside their apartment for a couple of days. She did find a way to escape and run to her parents but after some smooth talking, she went back to her abusive bf. Everyone’ s against it including me but unfortunately she chose not to listen. She chose to be abused.
Even though you pointed out the gruesome truth behind abuse, I still think it’s enlightening. And that everyone should be educated on this especially our youth.
Good Morning Maureen,
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That is a sad story. Your girlfriend chose to go back to her abusive boyfriend. She will need strong parents and friends as it seems she is not strong enough to put an end to this relationship. I often hear stories like that in Spain. Too often they end tragically.
One has to denounce these things to the police before it is too late. The education should start when children are still small only like that they will grow up to be feeling human beings.
This must have been a difficult piece for you to write.
I’m sorry to say that here in the UK, I’ve had friends, both male and female that have been victims of domestic abuse. One of my male friends was in a heterosexual relationship and refused to fight back even in the face of appalling violence and harm (some of which resulted in hospital treatment). The psychological damage that his partner’s behavior caused prevented him from being strong enough to make a complaint to the police.
Personally, I abhor violence and am troubled that here, we are seeing a rise in such crimes (particularly in London where acid attacks and stabbings seem almost commonplace now).
Culturally-sanctioned violence such as FGM and breast ironing are the most difficult for me to understand. How any parent could cause such pain and physical harm to their children is impossible to understand.
I hope that by writing about these issues, you increase people’s awareness of them and perhaps cause them to question the normalcy of such actions.
Good Morning Phil,
It started with reading the newspaper article. To train dogs and give them to accompany the abused woman in daily life so these women feel secure again, that was the trigger to write this post. You start to investigate and find out about all these awful things that happen in our world.
Personally, I had not heard about breast ironing before. It is quite unbelievable these things happen.
When I was a small girl on holiday with my parents in France we visited the famous Mont Saint- Michel. There I had the shock of my life seeing the torture chamber with all those frightening devises. Fact is that the human is a master in cruelty and one can see it just by looking around.
As I said in my post I am lucky I have never experienced any type of violence in my life, I realize I am blessed.
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Thank you for this wonderful post on the terrible topic of domestic violence. I commend you for taking a proactive stance to help rid our society of domestic violence. Some of the stuff listed here is just plain sick and disgusting. The things humans do to one another are just plain terrible.
I would also add that men can also be victims of domestic violence, though people don’t seem to like to talk about that. I’m sure it happens less, but I feel that domestic violence is domestic violence regardless of who is on the receiving end, man or woman.
As a man, I have personally been a victim of domestic violence, and this post makes my story feel invisible. With that said, though, I do mean what I said in the beginning and think you have done a wonderful job with this post and I think that the Foundation Mariscal sounds like an absolutely wonderful program. I am so happy people like that exist. Thanks again!
Good Morning Dev,
Sadly, humans know too well how to be cruel and inflict pain, be it on another human being or animals. I think till we learn how to respect each other including our differences we will not advance.
The Foundation Mariscal is doing a good job giving abused women back their confidence. Terrible to hear you also suffered abuse yourself. I hope you have the chance now of leading a normal and happy life.
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The statistics for the abuse methods and numbers you list here make me sad. I was lucky to have been raised in a family that respects women. I married a man who respects women, so we raised our children to give respect and expect to be treated well. I can’t fathom what these women go through and -even worse- that, in many cases and parts of the world, they don’t even know that it’s wrong.
Thank you for shining a light on this because the only way to make a change is to bring the problem out in the open. And thank you to the Foundation Mariscal for doing what they can to better the lives of abuse victims.
Good Morning Cynthia,
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The Foundation Mariscal is doing good work and I hope this idea will spread to other countries too. A few days ago there was an Acid attack on 2 young women. Both are in extreme conditions and might not make it. The police are still hunting for the criminal. This is the dark side of our society, and COVID-19 has made it worse.