Marita is sitting opposite to her friend. She has decided to seek to advise because she feels at crossroads in her marriage and her life. The first few years had been exciting for her but after 5 years, her marriage goes through ups and downs. She always wanted the marriage to work out. She stayed for her children despite violence is present. She had few friends, was very unhappy and somehow felt unloved. Marita is in a time of despair.
A family creates a community that peace should emanate. But how can a family bring peace if brokenness and suffering are experienced within?
Our home is often a place where peace is lacking, and innocence was one’s deprived because of violence.
The repulse of peace creates the possibility of violence.
When we know of a situation or hear a story of a woman or young girl about violence inside home sometime, we don’t intervene because it is a family matter.
Being silent and doesn’t care boils an impending danger. In some communities, violence is part of societal norms and is acceptable behavior.
Men as heads and members of families are the ones committing harm. A man hand’s grip towards a woman shows weakness.
How then is an appropriate response to someone like Marita?
I ask a few men about their opinion on why men are causing harm to women. And how they respond to Marita’s situation:
“Some men are weak and can’t handle psychological, financial and addiction issues and this result to overpower a woman”
“Leave the man because if he causes violence (physical, sexual, verbal) it will recur”
What action should I raise up to prevent violence inside the family?
Let us break down social norms and cultural by discouraging violence through a different approach like raising our voice by sharing our story, her story to convey women’s rights.
Let us raise a leader who is called to be the voice of every young girl and women in the midst of people, to fight for women.
My contribution as we commemorate 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, I will get involved in an organization who protects the human rights of women and girls.
I will know my right being a woman and bring awareness to the forms of violence women and girls experience.
I will educate myself so that I can also inform other women what I have learned that we can empower each other by claiming our rights. To know where to seek help in cases of violence.
I will support the campaign signifying the role of individuals in fighting violence inside the home.
I will introduce World Pulse to them, that they can share a story or read stories of women overcome their situation so that they can be encouraged and have hope for their life.
I stand with HER! #IStandWithher