Individuals that have experienced the harsh blows of domestic violence walk through life without notice with a dark shadow underlining their past or worst their present situation. One of the reasons domestic violence is silent and disregarded over communities maybe because the victim feels they deserve the treatment and are constantly though they are worthless by their partner. Why has domestic violence become a taboo issue, shouldn’t our community be warned and protected.
Statistic show that women who have been victims of domestic abuse are more exposed to misusing alcohol and drugs as a form of escapism. In the UK alone statistic shows that at least two women are killed in a week because of domestic violence. Overall one in four women experience domestic abuse and are victims of violence from their partner or a close relation. Domestic violence can effect anyone from young people to old, men and women different races and different classes from rich to poor various religions. Recently we have been following the tragedy of the R&B singer Rihanna who was physically abused by Chris Brown her boyfriend and also an equally popular singer. The story shocked the world simply because it was something that has not been publicised before, what happen after days also interested and shocked the public.
Victims of domestic abuse fade in the background as they have trouble sharing their problems due to their partner control over them. Women affected by domestic violence are sensitive when it comes to discussing relationships and domestic issues. More often their abusive partners can have a controlling nature and will have access to their privacy anything from bank card details, email passwords, mobile privileges or anything that she may use on the daily basis.
Women in serious relationship maybe inclined to hide their private life by smiling and acting as if all is well. The victim can feel pressured by the abuser to cut out close relation and only give more attention to the partner than to friends or family. The abuser often tries to persuade the victim in thinking that other people do not care about her, and the only person she can trust is the partner. Finding a person to share their feeling can become even harder, close relations to the victim such as friends and family may also be driven away by the partner by stopping communication between family and friends or even being present at every phone call or conversation to stop anything slipping out. Abusive partner can be manipulative and obsessive, in the Eritrean community it might be hard to measure a relationship from outside as we all know it is within our culture to hide our flaws and make everything seem fine even if the situation at home going from bad to worst we are forced to smile and shine through our problems tirelessly.
Victims of domestic abuse show signs that can be picked up by friends easily, physical signs include injuries such as cuts and bruises or stiffness when moving are primary. These signs should raise suspicion especially when the victim is reluctant to discuss or gives irrelevant explanations. Less obvious signs include the emotional stability of the individual things to look out for include; feeling down, crying or seeming disturbed or appearing less confident than before also breaking away from social scene.
Women who are victims of domestic abuse are in danger of attempting suicide as they are more likely to be effected mental. Home office shows that 75% of domestic abuse victims result in physical injury and mental health. A women abused by her partner may develop depression faster than women in stable relationship. Statistic shows that abused women are five times more likely to attempt suicide. This can be during their abusive relationship or even afterwards as the memory can have a lasting effect mentally. It is important to remember that woman in difficult relationship are sensitive and should be helped in anyway possible. If you know or suspect somebody in an abusive relationship make sure you do not judge him or her or intervene in their relationship as you could put them in deeper problem with their partner. Show them an open arm and listen to them as they will need somebody they can trust who will not simply tell them to leave their partner. It is easier to slowly try to show them the true colours of their partner.
In the Diaspora Eritrean women may feel less able to communicate with the police or any organisation that may be able to help them. As an ethnic minority they may not feel strong enough to communicate with the police due to language barriers or immigration status. However, Women’s helpline should be approached either by phone or by visiting the nearest women’s aid centre. In some centre they may have different language available if the centre lacks translators it may be ideal to take somebody who speaks your language. Women’s Aid is an international organisation committed to the aid of women who have experienced abuse. The women’s Aid organisation also work to bring awareness to the public by distribution of leaflet and video campaigns. Hot Peach Pages are a collective source page on he internet, leaflet in 82 language including Tigrinya are found and can be printed for distribution.
Sexual violence is also a sensitive issue, especially in the Eritrean community women are advise from a young age not to discuss private matter. The question of sex outside of marriage is a taboo topic in our society, this should not be the case as we see that young women get into more trouble and are stuck with unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases due to lack of education and awareness. Additionally our community can learn more from western society by showing openness and impartiality as opposed to judgemental decisions that leave the troubled individual in a deeper and problematic situation without a solution to solve any problem.