I would hear them go at it almost twice a week, mostly when my neighbour would stay out late and for a drink with his buddies or so he says. When I see him in the mornings he appeared a different man, so calm and sweet, so it was difficult for me to make the connection with those loud arguments he would have with his wife.
I could not more than 12 years old at the time, domestic dispute were just words to me, I had no idea what it meant and so I went to my parents and asked them what was going on? My dad looked visibly confused at the time, helpless even, you know he wanted to get involved but he did not know where to start.
I read the local papers and read that Domestic Dispute was on the rise and for some reason it disturbed me completely.
After reading the article I was more confused than I ever was…
“At the base of domestic violence is the lack of ability to resolve conflicts. Certainly, there has been a breakdown in moral values and attitudes across Jamaica and this is therefore manifesting itself in families leading to domestic violence and other forms of undisciplined,” Miller told the Sunday Observer. “At the same time, I do believe that wherever crime and violence abounds in a society, there will be increased cases of domestic violence. undisciplined and lack of self-control have spilled over into the family setting and as long as crime and violence is rampant in our society, domestic violence will certainly continue to increase.”
Attorney Margaret Macaulay advises women to leave abusive relationships, especially when young children are being affected.
“Many households are rife with domestic violence because in many cases women are dependent on their male abusers for financial support,” Macaulay said. “Domestic violence destroys families because you lose all sense of balance. It is not good to stay in these relationships. Women need to learn how to protect themselves.”
In addition, Macaulay cited the need for anti-domestic violence campaigns to help families break the silence.
“There is definitely a need for these campaigns. We had one in Jamaica some years ago and I believe that there is a need to bring it back because domestic violence is really an endemic problem in Jamaica.”
It was hard to swallow that the powers that be are talking about the need to implement anti-domestic violence campaigns to help families and then I thought we are certainly not serious about domestic disputes.
The persons who are responsible for these campaigns are as guilty as they come and we are talking about Judges, Pastors, Presidents, Heads of these organization are all guilty, the reason why to date nothing has been doing. We talk about liberating women to identify when a man is a potential threat and advise her to leave him and that is our solution?
“Though this is a complex issue, there is need for much more than counselling and mediation. We need to promote knowledge and awareness about such widespread problems in Jamaica and the world at large,” Parchment told the Sunday Observer. “I am not sure about the other offences, but domestic murders are definitely on the increase. The issue is so sensitive that people have to be careful. The challenge for women who face such problems is to speak up and seek help.”
I want us now to observe where the issue really lies, see the quote and tell me. “The challenge for women who face such problems” and I say really? If we do not come together male and female, if our men do not come out of the closet and talk about the dispute that they are experiencing and we approach this as not a man against woman then we will make some in roads.
Let us start talking to each other… let us start listening to each other, let us teach each other to be able to be compassionate, the problem is we are being selfish and instead of learning that selflessness improves the community we think that self preservation is more important than the family.