We all know someone who has been through the hardships of domestic violence. In fact, you reading this article could be a victim of this painful act.
Here in South Africa, it just saddens me that the efforts that our government has put in to alleviating this problem are so substandard, it’s even embarrassing to label it a worthwhile project. What generally happens is that, in December, our government has dedicated 16 days of activism. Apparently this awareness initiative is supposed to help stop domestic abuse. Endless seminars, pointless talks from government officials, redundant speeches about how we all need to work together to stop abuse in the family. After the 16 days, everything goes back to normal. What’s more, I wouldn’t be surprised if the incidences of domestic abuse escalated during those 16 days because the abusers (predominantly men) felt challenged. Such issues are often exacerbated when done in a careless manner. What happens to these victims of abuse throughout the year?
We Christians have a bigger issue on our hands. Since the bible condemns divorce, what does a Christian woman do when she is being abused daily both physically and emotionally? This is a very serious issue that is happening every single day.
I don’t think it is a good idea to have speechy campaign after speechy campaign aimed at changing men, or empowering women. I do not want to disregard the effect that these campaigns have in alleviating abuse, it just seems like a very passive means of action. Rather have open honest discussions, mainly with the men. Get at the heart of things. Make abusers to feel welcome to seek help and stop lashing at them all the time. Abuse is very wrong don’t misinterpret me. However, would a wife rather lose her husband or have him say my beautiful wife, I am sorry for what I have done, I am currently seeking help so that I can restore our married so it may fully capture the glory of Jesus and his bride. Help me change!
Back to the campaigns – I’m not certain of the exact efficacy of these state campaigns because you can never get accurate statistical reports of domestic violence. The challenge is that, having fewer reported cases does not necessarily indicate that these campaigns are having any effect because a decrease in reported cases could also be a result of women suddenly growing fearful of their partners and being reluctant to report these cases.
I would like to be part or a generation that strives for a more pragmatic approach to solving the issue, namely, child or youth development. We should re-direct our efforts towards instilling appropriate values and standards in our children.
Children who are taught to appreciate the roles of a men and women will grow up with a mature and refined code of conduct. They will grow up to respect each other and strengthen each other’s shortcomings.
An individual who repetitively causes harm to their partner, and moreover indulges in it, has issues that a superficial campaign will not remedy. Let us teach our children the law of God. Let us do our best to bring up our children into an environment that will cultivate a longing to grown in love. We all have that responsibility, a communal responsibility to teach all the young. It is my hope that in doing this, futures will be shaped.
Let us invest our time and resources wisely.