Are We Celebrating Abuse Against Women?

By today, we ought to have done away with all sorts of abuse against women and girls. Today is the 25th November. The famous United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated this day as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It simply means women, and of course the girls, are, nevertheless, victims of unjust abuses.

However, what exactly are we attempting to ‘eliminate’? Are these the abuses or the women themselves?

All varieties of abuse levelled against them are summed up as discrimination in disguised. The most popular ones are — stalking, sexism, sexual harassment, sexual abuse (in and out of war zones), discrimination, domestic violence, incest, inequalities, murder and et cetera.

2017 reveals (and still exposing) horrific sexual harassment and assault; all thanks to the infamous Harvey Weinstein. Coming to the surface is the exposure to longtime sexual predators who hid their games. Besides, we start seeing, or hearing perverse actions of these male perpetrators that women tolerated for so long because they (these women) were scared to lose their jobs? Many mighty men began to fall from grace.

At present, the popular question is, “who’s next?”

Nonetheless, this seems to be the kickoff of what has been taken for granted. So long! It had taken ages. The good news is that, women are opening up. They are letting the cat out of the bag. They are no longer ashamed, or afraid. The bad news is that, will something be done to preclude this from happening again?

Violence against women should not be treated like the popular news that came into the public eye for a few days or months and then abruptly died down.

How women are perceived, whom they are taken to be, and whether they are valued as humans. Will 2017 be the end of violence against women?

Possibly that can only be when women themselves stand together in solidarity and not enjoy the benefits of backbiting one another (as it used to be).

Who has a right or not to plead self-defence? (1)

Her name is Jacqueline Sauvage. She is 68 years old. Jacqueline was a battered woman for 47 years. This means out of that 68 years of her life, she perhaps had a beautiful violence-free 21 years. Norbert Marot, was Jacqueline’s husband. They have four children (three girls and a boy).  Marot was well known both within the household and in their community as a violent man. Everyone knows he was abusing Jacqueline, but no one dares intervene.  Besides, Jacqueline never reported to the police, and that was later used against her in the judicature.  On 10th September 2012 (Condomines, 2015), Jacqueline shot dead Norbert from behind while he seated.  This occurred later on another family violent dispute over their transport business.  A few days afterwards, she learned in prison that her son committed suicide by hanging. During the court procedures she discovered that Norbert sexually molested their three daughters in their childhood.  Before this, Jacqueline did not surmise that her violent husband was as well a sexual predator.

The second woman is a 60 year-old Bernadette Dimet (Durand-Souffland, 2016). Like Sauvage, Bernadette was a victim of domestic violence for years. Bernard Bert, her husband had an illegitimate son through Bernadette’s sister. He’d rape the latter in the early years of his marriage to Bernadette. Despite knowing this, Bernadette kept the secret to herself. She knows, her sister knows, and Bert knows. The trio maintained this heavy, painful secret from everyone until after Bert’s death on 2nd January 2012, when Bernadette shot him. Their two children only found out that their supposed cousin was in fact their stepbrother.

Both women killed their husbands in 2012, in different settings. Both were victims of long-term domestic abuses.  In their separate circumstances they had embraced muteness and rather opted to suffer in silence. Shame and self-blame play vital roles in encouraging silence. As Kaufman (1996, p.72) asserts, “The beaten, humiliated individual,…by a brutalising…marriage, has been defeated by shame.” Roberts (2007, p.55), opines many women are ashamed of being abused that they feel uncomfortable about those around them knowing their situation.  Where self-guilt comes in is when the survivor of feels she has not done enough to progress to her marriage works (Bryant-Davis, 2008, p. 65).

Marriage does not determine or justify that a woman will find the long-sorted peace. While it brings happiness and creativity for some, this same marriage remains a doom for others. It has the capacity to snatch off their lives from tranquillity straight into hell. A woman is not an animal. She is a human being. She has emotion. Even no one must attack an animal not to talk about a woman. Beating a woman when she is NOT a punching bag? Ah! She deserves reciprocal love. She is not a dunce that she cannot understand and tolerate the other gender.  That a man believes that beating his woman is an act of love is a misconception. Assaulting a woman generates an ambient of cruelty in that relationship. Doing so scratches out the divine bountiful blessing that is in it.

 

Work Cited

Bryant-Davis, T. (2008). Shame and Self-Blame: How Might One’s Gender Affect Shame ans Self-Blame? In T. Bryant-Davis, Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide (1st Edition ed., p. 65). Lanham, USA: Altamira Press.

Condomines, A. (2015, December 2). Procès de Jacqueline Sauvage : “J’ai tiré, tiré, tiré”, raconte l’accusée. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from Metronews: http://www.metronews.fr/info/proces-de-jacqueline-sauvage-a-blois-j-ai-tire-tire-tire/molb!i6HuwtElusc/

Durand-Souffland, S. (2016, February 5). Cinq ans de prison avec sursis pour la femme qui avait tué son mari violent. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from Le Figaro.fr: http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2016/02/05/01016-20160205ARTFIG00380-bernadette-dimet-condamnee-a-5-ans-de-prison-avec-sursis-pour-avoir-tue-son-mari-violent.php

Kaufman, G. (1996). The Psychology of Shame: Theory and Treatment of Shame-Based Syndromes (2nd Edition ed.). New York, USA: Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

Roberts, A. R. (2007). Barriers to Seeking Help. In A. R. Roberts, Battered Women and their Families: Intervention Strategies and Treatment Programs (3rd Edition ed., p. 55). New York, USA: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Reasons why women stay

Professionals have expressed frustration at why women ‘don’t just leave’ without recognition that women may be staying for reasons related to fear and safety, and/or lack of resources.
(Marianne Hester: Children’s safety: the child protection planet in The ‘Three Planet Model’. Pg.42

Where Two or Three People Are Gathered….

Cover-where two or three women are gatheredWhere Two or Three People Are Gathered….

Where Two or Three People Are Gathered….by Princess Ayelotan, is a collection of short stories addressing issues affecting women. Available for purchase on iTunes/iBooks store.