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Something touched a nerve? Thank God!
Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2005

by Linda E. Edwards

After all these years of watching the abuse of women as reported in the TnT media, and writing angrily about it, I am pleased to note that the Express has done two pieces on the subject in its Dec. 27th issue. Something touched a nerve-something that caused us to admit that the greatest aspect of violence in the society, is the treatment of women by their men.

Perhaps other male oriented organizations and those dominated by men, could join their voices to this issue and become so involved in it, that domestic violence would begin to wane. It has been waxing for years.

When something is of interest to the greater society, the following groups discuss it: Parliament, editorial columns in major papers, columnists, the religious organizations, the Chamber of Commerce and the Jaycees, the Rotary Clubs, constituency groups of all political parties, youth groups of the same parties, universities and high schools, boy scouts and girl guides, as well as groups tied to cultural and ethnic societies.

Now if all of these people took domestic violence out of their closets and made it a centerpiece on their drawing room tables, and kept it there as a constant source of discussion and questions as to "What we go do?" and "Why are we not doing?", there is bound to be an effect.

If men knew they were going to be shamed by their peers for this heinous state of affairs, it would curb their behaviour. Men are very susceptible to peer pressure.

The family is the unit of society that holds the group together. If families have broken down due to societal stress over the last three decades, and this has escalated cases of child sexual abuse including incest, other forms of child abuse, and spousal abuse; is it not time that all medical personnel, all police officers, all priests and social workers be sensitized to this issue and trained to help the victims and the perps deal with it? Should it not be part of the curriculum of schools and universities in the areas of social services, especially on the curriculum of teachers' colleges?

Should not services to families and children become a major part of some government ministry, empowered by funding and laws to deal with this through intervention, counselling and other help?

What the Express has done in bringing this issue to the front burner, is quite commendable. It also needs to continue to become, and remain, a major focus of the other papers and the society as a whole.

Each time one of my nieces or female cousins migrate to the U.S. (we are not primarly Canada located), I bless the fact that they are moving to a society where women are paid living wages, where they have rights, and where they can use those better wages and rights to escape from abusive situations if they occur. In Trinidad, (where men routinely slap around and disfigure the faces of pretty women) they would have had so much less a chance of developing into a whole person.

While I salute my friend Dr. Bratt of the Guardian for his positive pieces about our society, and salute all the men on all the papers who write columns, I would love to see them each devote one column to the terrible state of male/female relations in our beloved multi-cultural society. If the women devote space to it, everyone would assume they must be getting licks like fire, and few might be angry for them. Chances are, that far more would say, "She and she big mouth look for that". It is that deep-seated attitude that has to change. I salute the Express for a belated beginning. I hope it is a beginning.

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