From time immemorial the world has been crying foul at the acts of violence against women which seem not to have a death day.
Violence against women as a form of Gender based violence has been defined by the council of Europe as all acts of gender based violence that result in or are likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
From all corners of the earth, a lot of people and organizations have been calling out men to stop violating the rights of women. Men have been told to stop abusing their wives and start loving them as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her as it is said on Ephesians 5:25 (NIV).
However these cries all seem futile.
Men and boys are being told how to tenderly treat women and girls every day, but what are women or girls doing on their own to end violence against themselves?
Apart from the hurting fact that some men change after some years in marriage, looking at the causes of violence in many marriages today, we will see that it occurs because the marriage does not have a strong foundation. Whether the contributions of the wife and husband to the finances are not balanced or the two were not in a healthy relationship before marriage.
For those who are already married, breaking the silence can be one of the first steps of this fight. I would give an example of the 18 year old woman, Linda Phulani of Mchinji district in Malawi who was severely whipped with chains and steel rods by his husband because he thought his wife was cheating. However, the wife said she only went to visit her friend without the consent of her husband. On the other hand, Linda’s father said he had been receiving reports of her daughter’s troubled marriage, but when he sent relatives to check on her she would tell them that she was fine. If Linda had told her relatives the truth in the first place, her case would not have become a public issue as it did. Apart from that the media would not have circulated her nude pictures to show the world the deep cuts she sustained from the fight she had with her husband.
Secondly, for those ladies who are in a relationship which can boldly be defined as abusive, it would be better to take a break, reflect on your life and view the kind future that one can have with a man who has already started slapping or verbally abusing you before living in the same house. Some ladies think that their partners would change with time, but you will see that they have been in that kind relationship for many years but nothing seems to change.
Lastly, Self empowerment. A lot of women are experiencing abuse in marriages today because they are too dependent on their husbands. This makes the husband to have all the authority in the marriage that everything he says is considered right since everything comes from him. I am not against the fact that husbands should be or are the head of the house but as the head cannot stand without the help of the different parts of the body, so a husband cannot stand without the help of his wife. If women those women who are not working would venture into some business to support their marriages financially, abuse which start as a result of lack of financial help from the wife would be reduced. It would be another stepping stone if girls would use the opportunities they have now as young and active people to finish school and become independent.
Women build a strong shield for yourselves and have your say!