Why a woman could accept abuse as a part of her life could be beyond some people. It’s understandable that anyone who enjoys the independence and free will to pose that question wouldn’t be able to wrap their mind around this, because probably most if not all of us reading this hadn’t been there, yet I’m sure each and everyone of us has a bizarre story to tell about some abuse victim(s).
You see, unless a hard core masochist, nobody likes to be beaten to a pulp and called all sorts of demeaning names. So why would a woman -whose very basic instinct is to crave love- be willing to put up with unthinkable kinds of abuse? Like it or not, sometimes a woman might find herself in a situation where she thinks she has to learn to live with abuse, and you can’t understand that unless you try to put yourself in their shoes, if you don’t already know someone who’s actually suffering this.
The list could include reasons we can’t even begin to imagine, but these are some of the ones I could think of:
Children: Mothers are selfless creatures, and a mother who has 8 children, all the more so. She has no one to go to, no means to provide for all of her children, so she think that she could stomach it for the sake of her children. Of course reporting her husband to the police is out of the question, and maybe she thinks the abuse isn’t severe enough to warrant legal action. So for a girl in her mid-twenties who has never had an encounter with abuse to come and say the woman should leave her husband is a bit unrealistic. Yet, there’s still something to be done. The woman can go to someone in her family to try and talk sense into her husband and even force him to treat his wife right if needed. Also remember that the Family Protection Services aren’t there to break up families, they are there to find what’s wrong and fix it, to make families a healthy environment for children to grow in. So, don’t be afraid to report abuse to the Family Support Line by dialing 110, and you don’t even have to give them your personal information.
Social issues: “We are girls from decent families, we don’t get divorced or break up engagements” Believe it or not, the previous quote was told by a young educated girl, advising her friend who was having problems with her fiancé.
By some twisted reasoning, a woman might sometime find it better to take abuse than to be labeled as a divorcee. It could be pride that prevents her from speaking up, it could be family issues, whatever it is it’s is NOT AN EXCUSE.
Because they think it’s the normal thing. You see, her father used to beat the crap out of her mother and she did nothing. It’s par for the course, the circle of life. That’s why the mother and the father should consider that one day their daughter could be taking the same kind of abuse silently, because she thinks it’s only natural. This reminds me of a scene in a movie where a girl who’s been abused both by her mother and father says that she doesn’t want love in her life because love only caused bad things to happen to her. She thought the maltreatment and abuse she got from her parents were “love”.
Because she loves him, and he loves her. the lamest excuse of all. If someone beats you he either has serious psychological problems or he just does not love you, at least not the way you think he does. Either way, you should not stay with him. And keep in mind that physical abuse could be a threat to your life, I don’t think I need to mention any of the many stories we all heard of about women who were killed or seriously injured by abusive husbands.
The V word. well, let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes, but for a girl to lose her virginity before marriage in the Arab society, that could be a deadly one. Not only because it could lead to an honor crime, many people wouldn’t go there, but because the girl might find herself in a situation where she has to take the abuse of a boyfriend or any other person in order to spare herself the scandal, and she might be forced to continue making that mistake no matter how much she regrets it. The thing is, you don’t correct a mistake by another mistake, there’s always a way to make things right. The problem is the mentality, no surprise here. Case in point, a “doctor” who once mentioned to a friend of mine that “If a girl loses her virginity she’d better commit suicide instead of waiting for her family to kill her”. Mind you, that’s coming from someone whose job is supposed to be saving lives. Of course it’s better safe than sorry, so don’t be stupid and condemn yourself to a life of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. If it wasn’t the boyfriend who will be the abuser, it could be a third party or even a future husband.
Well, those are the reasons I could think of for now, but I’m sure the list goes on, perhaps farther and more ridiculously than we could think. But the point is: whatever the reason, abuse is not okay and there’s always a solution, and those women need to know that.
I agree that empowerment of women is key, but let’s be realistic, no matter how much you empower women, there still will be women who are helpless and over-powered by circumstances, or at least think so. That’s why I think it’s equally important to raise awareness among men themselves. Not only impose punishments on abusers but also take preventive measures to prevent abuse in the first place.
Another thing we can’t deny is the way people raise their boys who grow up to be men and then abuse their wives, daughters and sisters. A boy must learn since childhood that he’s no better than his sister or his female peers, he must be taught to respect women and that when he grows up he will have a responsibility to protect the women in his life, not to make them need protection from himself. And of course another curse is the double standards in our society. They would go crazy if they caught their daughter talking on the phone to a guy and at the same time they brag about the 50 girlfriends their sons have. Teach your children that women aren’t their only for their amusement, and that it’s not okay to manipulate girls just because they make themselves vulnerable.
If anything, abuse is a habit and a life-style. Change the way the people think, fuel th public opinion against it, instill in people’s mind, both young and old, that a man who abuses his wife or treats her badly defies hi natural role and therefore can’t be considered a man. Teach women their real value, make them understand what they truly deserve, and most importantly make them realize that abuse is not, never was, and will never be okay.