>2010-12-10 – Friday Whisper – Say No!

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Have you ever screamed without a voice? Ached without being hit? Scarred without being cut?

Or have you scream out loud with no one answering? Scared day and night? Hit anytime anywhere? Hurt your head, your arms, your legs, your stomach and your heart?
That’s what domestic violence does to the body and soul of an abused woman…and in most cases she feels lonely in a World of 6.7 billions people!
When abuse happens, we spend the time thinking and screaming about the abuser, how bad he is, how terrible is what he is doing…how he should be punished…and we forget that it is the abused who needs our support, our help…how much she needs to rebuild her self-esteem, her self-confidence, at this point and how much she needs to speak up and stand up for what she wants…
Two weeks ago I assisted at a documentary about domestic violence; out of the three women in the documentary, two were killed by their husbands, where one of the victims were discovered dead by her kids!!! The interesting part is that the men came from good families, good values and financial standards, and they looked pretty much like men you meet everyday…there is no way you could have guessed they were monsters!!!
Pathetic…is very pathetic when a man can’t express what he wants, who he is, how he wants things but with violence…a typical example of cowardice…
And domestic violence comes in different shapes; other than physical abuse, there is verbal abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse…it starts with few angry words and hurt feelings and ends up with violence…and it extends to the whole family…
Why would a man abuse his woman and his kids? Maybe he was abused himself, he had troubled childhood, he is an alcoholic, he is a drug addict…would all this justify what he is doing? Absolutely not, and there is no other reason in this World that would justify it either!
What helps him get away with it? Living in a country where a law against domestic violence is absent and the government is taking forever to issue such law…living in a society that doesn’t take seriously a woman’s complaint at the police station…where women are ashamed of talking about it…where hitting a woman or a child is socially tolerated…where a woman has no other place to go to, where she is more afraid of leaving than staying or afraid to leave her kids behind… And it is happening in almost every country, in every religious and every religiousless society…
Are you being abused? If he is constantly threatening to hurt you or your kids, if he says it is your fault he is hitting you… if he puts you down in front of others…if he hit, kick, choke or slap you…if he forces you to have sex…if he belittles you constantly…you always do what he wants instead of what you want…then most probably you are in an abusive relationship…
If you are, then I have few words for you: first and foremost, it is not your fault and it never was! Regardless of what you are doing or not doing, you shouldn’t be treated but with dignity and respect! If you allow him to hit you once, why would he stop? Violence is the absence of power, absence of love… Say No to him! Talk to your family, to your friends, to local organizations…don’t be ashamed! Don’t be afraid! As you are not alone, but you have to speak up, so that can we stand up for you and with you…
Statistics shows that one in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime, and more women die from domestic violence than from cancer… don’t become another statistics!
Dec 10th, the Human Rights Day, have ZERO tolerance for domestic violence!
Help line in Lebanon: 961 3 018 019 or www.kafa.org.lb
Rania Hammoud
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