Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Abuse in the Family

Abuse in the family, physical, emotional, economic, and sexual are serious social problems. An article in the Kyeongyang magazine written by a professional, who has worked in the field for many years, informs the readers of this serious issue which is not disappearing.

Violence against women in the home has many faces, and she gives us an example of a couple married for over ten years, who were ordered by the court to go for counseling after the woman reported the violence to the police.

During the first session the husband made it clear that the wife was the cause of the violence: her actions warranted his response. She talked back, did not keep her promise, did not do the cleaning, she was lazy, and he was trying to teach her what to do. Verbal abuse follows physical abuse which remains with the person for a life time, and engenders suicidal thoughts.

Husband does not feel any guilt and the wife who has to live in this situation trembles in fear, and her only thoughts are how to prevent the next beating. Children are the reason she is not able to leave the situation. Children without a mother is worse  then being beaten and prevents her leaving the abuse. Society considers the abuse a private issue located in the privacy of the home, no one wants to get involved, but the writer makes it clear it is not a private issue but a social issue. 

Patriarchy considers family like a possession. One does not find it easy to talk about the abuse and the shame the wife feels is part of the reason eradication of violence is not doing well. Society sees the mother as the sign of sacrifice, service, and devotion, if she doesn't live up to this ideal imposed by society she will be criticized, consequently the shame she feels and silence.

Violence in the family is not seen as violence by many: a reason for the failure to eradicate it. Many  hearing the screams from a home will pay no attention, and let it pass as a family matter. There must have been a  reason for the beating, if this attitude changed and persons would report the abuse and knock on the door of the offending house, she says, we would see a decrease in numbers. 

When abuse is reported, we have perpetrators reflecting on what they have done, and with the counseling both privately and in groups we see change in behavior and the women receiving counseling also feels less pain in her ordeal. There is no reason whatsoever to justify this violence. Efforts are necessary to make the families basic communities of love and places where growth in body, mind and soul is promoted and evident.                       

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