Thursday’s domestic violence that occurred at Limlair Village on the Corentyne was the last straw for me. I felt compelled not just to speak of the issue but also offer and highlight simple and practical solutions to this epidemic. I call it an epidemic because it is a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in our community and that is the definition of an epidemic.
I believe what we see being manifested by the actions of some men almost daily, is the end result of men dreadfully lacking coping skills and not truly understanding their role. If you were to examine all the domestic violence cases that resulted in the demise of women, you will realize that domestic violence is not common only to a particular ethnicity or demographic. Instead, what is common is that in every case the man did not understand his role and failed to cope with the situation.
Men should have been equipped with this vital information, like so many other teachings they received, from a very young age. While many might argue that this should have been taught in the home, the almost daily heinous and callous acts being committed by men against women, tells that this is not happening.
The genesis of this epidemic, like I said is, lack of coping skills and men not knowing their roles. My question therefore is, why not address this from a tender age? There is a famous colloquial expression which says “you need to bend the tree while it is still young”. Coping skills and other practical life skills should be incorporated with the other subjects being taught in the school system.
While I am not trying in any way to undermine its importance, research would have shown that over 85% of people after leaving high school, do not utilize most of the theories they would have learnt in school, in their every-day living. However, 100% of persons leaving high school would need life skills, which in most cases they weren’t taught or don’t learn from home. If teachers can spend ten to fifteen minutes daily with their students now, teaching them these skills, I believe this will greatly aid them as they get older. Ultimately, in time this will inevitably lend to a reduction in domestic violence and casualties resulting from it in our society.
Further, to aid the older men, I strongly suggest the government, more specifically the Ministry of Social Protection be more proactive in its approach. Outreaches and the establishment of more counseling centres manned by qualified volunteers, social workers or ministers of religion will provide alternatives.
My thoughts, it is my desire that even if not implemented, at least my recommendation can start a national conversation on this epidemic that leads to steps being taken or put in place to end this.
This most stop!!!