Violence against women is in no way justified
In the past month, there has been a spate of domestic violence against women and children in Guyana. Recently, for example, a man set his home on fire, killing his wife and two children. This is not an isolated incident as several others have been reported in the media. This message seeks to address some of the underlying causes of male violence against their female partners and how to address them.
Jealousy is usually the main emotion that drives violence against a partner. Sometimes males are very suspicious of their partners having an affair and often in a vengeful, rabid state they would attack their partners, often without evidence.
Most men in Guyana socialize or interact with their partners from a position of power and control, and they think the violence is justified. They are trying to drive fear among women. We need to teach these males how to move from power and control behaviors to social behaviors based on equality, rationality, and respect for their female partners.
It is worth noting that many men in Guyana adopt partner violence as a norm in their interactions with their female partner. They may have been brought up in an abusive family where this was normalized. Men should not see or define their masculinity in terms of their ability to be violent, physical or emotional. Many men also justify their violence against female partners based on religious teachings, but no religion punishes violence against women.
From a male perspective, if we are aggressive towards a female partner, it is difficult for her to love us, and this is one of our deepest emotional needs as males. So violence against men is really violence against women. Victim women often have no right to the law because their stories are rarely taken seriously by the police. They may be hurt emotionally and physically, lacking in self-confidence and little trust in men.
The roots of men’s violence come from a belief of right and control. Males often do not think about the harmful effects of their violence on their partners and children, who may live in the same household. We also need to teach our males anger management skills and how to be less reactive, even in the face of provocation. Violence against women is in no way justified.
We need to create a more peaceful society where there is justice for all, and where communication is non-violent. Women should be treated equally at home and in society. The males who abuse their partners would certainly not like their mother or sisters or daughters to be abused in that way. We must learn coping skills with abusers such as effective communication, problem-solving strategies, anger management and self-control rather than using cruel force and violence.
Vishnu Bisram Dr.