Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Year Resolution: Stop Domestic Violence by Akindele Akinyemi

I often wonder why anyone of any race would practice a barbaric act called domestic violence. I have never practiced such an uncivilized act with my ex-wife, ex-girlfriend or any woman. I never will.
It is bad enough people cannot stay married or build a family due to the lack of finances, infidelity, or just plan not interested in the relationship. But when we begin to practice domestic violence in our homes it just adds fuel to the fire that has already been burning in the community.

Remember, in Detroit 82% of families are headed by single parents (mostly females). The women I have met in the past have told me horror stories about domestic abuse in the home. Some of them felt that because their husbands hit them once they were not a victim of abuse.

That is so wrong.

When are you a victim of domestic violence? Is it after one incident, several incidences, a severe beating or a rape? Does the level of injury determine whether you are a victim? Neither. You are victim whether the domestic violence occurs once, twice or several times.

The saying 'spare not the rod and spoil the child' has been brought into marriages. 'Spare not the rod and spoil the wife/husband!'

As I travel the community here in Detroit it was not unusual to hear arguments taking place in people's yards that then over spilled into the streets. I saw one incident of where a husband was fighting with his wife. In Brightmoor District on the city's west side about three years ago we had to pull a woman off of her husband because she beat him with a frying pan into a state of unconsciousness due to his infidelity.

Even though domestic violence is an issue that affects family life in every community I have to focus on the Black community becuase presently we have no sense of commitment in our homes.

Violence has always been a problem in our community. Many of us have witnessed our mothers being abused and have suffered because of it. When witnessed as a child you sometimes learn to accept as a natural part of life. When a close friend of mine told me she was abused by her husband as a young bride she thought it was just a fight. Of course I had to make a decision to either encourage her to leave the marriage or kill her husband. The Lord told me to encourage her to leave the marriage.

In a time when it was acceptable for the woman to bow to the man (so to speak), mothers' taught their daughters' to make sure their husband was always right and happy. The Bible teaches that wives should submit unto the husband. That is very true that a wife should submit. However, the word submission contains the word mission. How can a wife practice submission when the husband has no mission? While women are learning to stand on their own two feet and juggle careers and families we, as men, have to encourage them to understand that being single is only temporary and not a permanent life decision.

Another reason people do not know about the level of violence in the homes because women do not report it. Sometimes our women are ashamed because we view our women as strong women who can take on anything. Well, to be honest in many cases they are not. Many cannot handle it when a man beats them, cheat on them, or sometimes walk out on them and leave them with children. The trials of life do make our women strong, however, not to the point where they can take on the whole world. Therefore, our women hide their emotions in sex, drugs, the way they dress, etc. To me, they are not superwomen! Women do what they do because they have no other choice. When that husband/boyfriend walks out on our women and the children, they are those children's lifeline. You know that without you stepping up to the plate, your children will not make it in this life. IF God did not give us what our women need from day to day, they all would perish. All the time I hear women in the community have to work anywhere between 8 to 16 just to make sure our children have what they need because the mothers are all that they have. Another person close to me stayed in a relationship even though she knew her husband was cheating on her and beating her. He ended up leaving her and she tried to take her own life because she felt so worthless. Thank GOD she didn't die.

If you are involved in domestic abuse I highly recommend you tell someone responsible. Don't keep it a secret. By not taking positive action you will not be helping yourself or your partner. Reporting incidences to an appropriate agency/responsible person will ensure that you and your partner both get the help you need. But for the help to be effective there must first be the acknowledgment that there is problem.

This is where Black faith-based organisations, working alongside main stream agencies can play a tremendous role within the Black community, in addition to the many agencies that already
exist to provide help and support for the victims of domestic violence.

I am sure their views would be welcomed and not merely from the biblical perspective of why it is wrong, because we all acknowledge that domestic violence in any form is unacceptable.

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