I have struggled, still struggling with finishing my masters for years now. Well, thanks to procrastination, lack of motivation and plain old laziness. Okay, my supervisors have also played a huge hand in this; let’s not fault me for everything!! I enjoy school, I enjoy reading and learning and I also enjoy research especially on topics and issues that are dear to me.
With that being said, I am also a feminist. Although I am yet to clearly label my feminism. My feminism applies to the situation at hand. I believe I have a bit of gender resistant, gender revolution, and gender reform feminism. But what I know is that I am not a toxic feminist; I still love and respect the male gender as I should. Anyway, I digress. But my need to see the fairer gender treated with respect and love has led me to some interesting research; I wrote about FGM for my undergrad, and for my masters, I am writing about domestic violence against women.
The National Coalition against Domestic Violence (NCADV, 2016) defines domestic violence as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. These include physical, sexual and psychological violence and emotional abuse.
Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. Domestic violence is violence that is directed at individuals on the basis of their gender, with women and girls making up the vast majority of the victims although boys and men are also targets. It is indiscriminate, cutting across racial, ethnic, class, age, economic, religious and cultural divides. Domestic violence takes place throughout society: in homes, community, and state institutions e.g. prisons, police stations, hospitals.
I can’t say it any louder, domestic violence on any gender is a cowardice and primitive move for the perpetrator. What do we gain by domestic violence? Lemme answer that for you! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! And when I say nothing, I literally mean nothing… ooh, some stupid fuckers tried to pass it off as a way of showing love and affection to their partners, no bruh, show me your hands I show you a knife.
Murder in the USA is a song by ASA, a great musician I stumbled upon while doing a deep dive on YouTube. It shows how the guy in the relationship was cheating and when confronted, he would hit his girl. She finally has enough, as everybody has their breaking point, and decides to defend herself, using a gun. And someone ends up dead.
Studies suggest that the perpetration of this brand of violence has continued because of the economic dependence of women on men, patriarchy and the differential socialization processes that females and males undergo. In most patriarchal societies, women are oftentimes viewed as second-class citizens and coverage of domestic violence is not given priority as much as it should be.
Domestic violence has been shown to cause a lot of pain and bitterness to the victim. Many women are let down by their partners, who should protect and love them. Women are meant to be dotted upon, to be cherished and honored. They are not meant to mistreated, hurt and violated. When this happens, mistrust is built, anger and resentment cultivated, and as we all know, nothing ends well when domestic violence is meted out in homes.
Left to deal with physical injuries, and bruises, there are more lasting effects to a victim of domestic violence. Just last year, Kenya saw increased cases of men killing their spouses/girlfriends; and those were the reported cases. Families are left broken when someone decides to take the life of another due to issues that would have been easily sorted out. Psychological issues are seen present in these women. They are haunted by the abuse which leads them to depression, anxiety, fear, and low self-esteem. Shame is felt in front of their peers and children who grow up in such families are always scarred.
It is advisable that men become protectors; to become lovers and not fighters, to cherish and honor their partners. Women alike should also honor and respect their partners. Society should learn and endeavor to sort out issues in a grown-up and amicable manner. When love turns sour, makeup or break up. You don’t have to fight about it!
There is NO justification whatsoever for domestic violence! None whatsoever!
Maybe ASA’s song will put it into more perspective.
“Women cannot lend their labor or creative ideas fully if they are burdened with the physical and psychological scars of abuse” The United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
P.s. There are many Gender Violence Recovery centers in all counties in Kenya. Call or visit one if you or a loved one is going through domestic violence.