We write this letter from the perspective of concerned youths about the alarming rates of domestic violence in our nation, but more specifically in Zeelugt, especially because it sometimes translates into violent ends for the victims. It has been addressed on numerous occasions, the most recent being in July 2012 where a National Conversation on Domestic Violence was held, with Zeelugt being the opener to focus on ‘What’s being done wrong, what needs to be done.’
The issue of domestic violence should no longer be analysed as a ‘domestic’ one because the effects of the act ripples beyond the arena of the home and leaves children in broken homes and foster homes and causes a degeneration of our society. It is our business to be concerned about the upholding of others’ right to live without fear that they may be beaten or lose their life. We all have a responsibility to speak out against such acts. We think that the community has an obligation to report acts of domestic violence since sometimes victims are not strong enough to make the initial step of getting out of an abusive relationship. The community needs be a supportive group that does not enable abusers. On the other hand, we recognize that abusers need help as well before it reaches the point of murder.
We recommend that laws should be stricter and better implemented. As mentioned above, it should no longer be seen as a domestic issue but one that is a public matter and an assault on an individual. Therefore, the perpetrators should be dealt with by the law rather than having the victims plead on their behalf since they are not in position to make a rational decision. A holistic approach is needed to offer viable solutions by providing alternative options for the victims (as some are financially dependent), safe houses and counselling for both parties.
The stereotypes are no longer acceptable.
Anand Ram Budhan