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Domestic violence against women is a worldwide problem! The only variance, is that is it more prominent in some countries, when compared to others. Of course, Jamaica is no exception!
Unfortunately, domestic violence against women in Jamaica continues to be a perennial problem. At the same time, it is a problem that needs to be eliminated. It is often said that violence, domestic or otherwise, begets violence. If and when children see the adult males in the families asserting violence towards the women around them, then the likelihood of them perpetuating the act currently, or in the future, might be higher. That we can also do without as sociologists will readily confirm that the home is the primary source of socialization.
It is ironic that a country like Jamaica, which has women in many key positions of leadership, should have its women suffer so heavily from the blows of domestic violence. The chief justice, senior resident magistrate, director of public prosecutions, auditor general and the prime minister are only some of the women in key, top and leading positions in Jamaica.
In most cases, it is male spouses who exact domestic violence on their female counterparts. For too long, women have arguably given men the permission to abuse them. It can be said that the women give these men the permission to abuse them, as in some cases, they, the women opt to stay in these relationships for various reasons. Chief among them is that according to them, “they love the man.” Also near the top of the list, is that children might be involved and they are staying for the sake of these young ones.
Some will concur with the thoughts of these abused women but of course others will not! The common thought is that once a woman experiences domestic violence, she should expunge herself from the situation, meaning the relationship. However, in fairness to some of those who stay in the abusive relationships, they really do not have much of a choice. The first reason is that women earn less than men, generally speaking. Hence, with a lack of earning power, they stay in the relationship because they are dependent on the abuser, financially and maybe otherwise.
It is also quite commonly said in Jamaica, that women like men who are macho and will give them a few blows every now and again. Yes, women actually claim men to be ‘soft’ if they don’t do just that. This is extremely unfortunate!
It is the hope that the country’s legislators, especially with a female head of government, put measures in place to curtail the abhorrent act of domestic violence against women. It is to be noted, that the Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, has been a staunch advocate of women and children, as it relates to helping to curtail any kind of violence against them.
As indicated before, it is hoped that the talk will become work through legislation with teeth in the houses of Parliament.