Life is for living, loving, Learning and ultimately leaving a positive legacy for those who follow (Stephen Covey). For some living with domestic abuse, life experience is far from this.
Statistics show that currently 2.5 women are killed every week due to domestic violence. Back in 2007 when I organised my first dv event, it was only 2 per week nationally.
This is unacceptable. It must be STOPPED, eradicated for the sake of our future generations, our families our friends.
I have an objective to vastly reduce the number of fatalities by addressing a few key components and potential predictors.:
- Correcting our approach and addressing our continued lack of awareness
- The Perpetrator issue
1) Correcting our Approach
For far too long we have given domestic abuse centre stage on the life stage of horror. We are filled with dread disgust disbelief fear at the mention of the topic. Although great strides have been made, domestic abuse I believe is still a highly regarded "taboo!"I believe this weird underworld type, street cred and basement level method of problem solving needs first to be stripped of it's sinister accolade.
"Well how do we do that ?" I'm glad you asked!
We need to minimise domestic violence and abuse...take back control in our language the way we think and talk about it.
Let me explain..we need to in terms of mood music ..remove the drum roll when we announce dv. To achieve this we need no longer give it centre stage but put it in it's right place, under the heading, relationships.
This is something that happens in an unhealthy relationship, we therefore need to step back and re educate on what a positive healthy relationship IS and IS NOT. This needs to begin in schools and continue with a life learner approach.
I was asked recently " why do they do it?" There is not ONE answer to this question, there are a million....different answers ranging from being abused themselves - being a controlling narcissist!
At the end of the day, it does not matter what the reason is.....that is for the counselling room which will also be required! What we ARE dealing with is the consequence of an elected behaviour which is now hurting not just yourself but those around you to the points of fatal injury or death. The behaviour has to be addressed and the offender must be removed as precautionary and preventative strategy.
2) The Trouble with Perpetrators
The trouble with perpetrators is US! That's right you and I.
For too long we have focussed on the victim (which is understandable to a degree). The problem is if we only focus on the victim we are the ones perpetuating the problem. We may be successful rescuing victim number 1, but without addressing the perpetrator, there will be a victim number 2, 3, 4?
We all recognise the distasteful unease we feel when we discover that someone is experiencing this as a relationship problem. More so if another life is lost, we shudder as we recognise that this is some ones mother, sister, aunt, and we are deeply saddened.
However, we will not stem the unnecessary loss of life unless we take responsibility for OUR perpetrators...yes they are "ours' as well, they are not from Mars or any other planet they are our brothers, fathers, cousins, friends...or maybe you yourself...
The taboo does not belong to the victims
It belongs to the perpetrators!
The perpetrator has the ultimate responsibility for their own behaviour but
If we do not acknowledge them help them support them, counsel them, rebuke them, re educate them, love them, not what they do but who they are or could be with help...this number of fatalities will continue to rise..
The greatest pain in these fatalities for family and friends maybe that these are TWO people that they love/d. The ultimate betrayal! Killed by someone who once said they loved...you, your mum, daughter, sister, friend.
A Considered strategic and balanced approach is required, currently the scales are out, lopsided, we can't keep running, escaping, losing this battle. We must stand up and fight...in a new way and I propose that this is it...to begin with
Remember this :
If the worst has already happened. ..The perpetrator may have stolen part of your past ...there is nothing you can do about that...Don't let them steal anymore of your present or your future...get help, and support for yourself and allow yourself to start the process of healing you now require.