The normalcy of Domestic Violence? Surely Not

by MuminBusiness

Eavesdropping on a shocking conversation, musing on domestic violence, MuminBusiness thinks out loud...

I started musing about domestic violence as I was sitting in hospital with my little girl, waiting to be seen by a doctor who is so far above the rest, he has reverted back to being referred to as Mr. (Yes, the nurses made a point of correcting me when I called him Dr.)

I started to eavesdrop on a conversation being played out loudly by a few other mothers. It started out as an amateur clinic as one Mom showed her scalp with a skin rash on it to another mother.

“The Doctor won’t tell me what it is, I keep asking but he will not say”.

I always like to hear a good conspiracy theory so I keep listening, as well as the fact that I am a pharmacist. (Yes, I am a people watcher!)

Amateur Diagnosis

The second mother looks at it and pronounces with confidence

“It is Psoriasis, I had that before and there is no cure for it”. 

The first mother accepts the diagnosis as though she is pleased with having a name to her condition. 

A third mother then jumps in with “Its Stress, you know, stress brings it on”. 

The first Mom looks sad suddenly as she goes on to acknowledge that she is indeed stressed.  It is her 9th wedding anniversary today and “I have never been more stressed in my life.  Gran has an operation today; Granddad died on this day, my hair and scalp itches, and my boy is having troubles.  I am not surprised it is stress”

As I am trying to figure out how someone can have so many things going wrong on this one day that really should be special, the conversation carries on and then one question breaks through my reveries.

The Question that spoke of Domestic Violence

“So, is he lamping you?”

The question is asked nonchalantly as though this is a normal occurrence. (A quick explanation for non-British readers – To lamp someone means to beat them - domestic violence in this case.)

The answer “Well yeah, you know how it is” 

The third mom jumps in with “I had Sue on the phone the other day, crying she was, her chap had lamped her one again, and all”. 

Then they all carried on chatting about it as though it was just normal – a normal part of an everyday experience.  There was a mention of a father doing it to a mother and on it went.

My reaction to Domestic Violence in everyday UK

I was shocked at how ordinary it seemed to them, just something they all experienced all the time.  No cries for help, no sympathy offered or advice about how to get away, it was just. So. Normal.

Needless to say, I was horrified.

Domestic Violence is normal in a lot of places all around the world.  The World Health Organisation tries to stamp it out and we, ‘first world’ countries try to impose our 'civilization' on more 'primitive types' in order to help stamp it out. 

Domestic Violence Statistics

These are a few facts pulled from Wikipedia:

  1. In India, every two hours a bride is burnt so the husband can remarry or her dowry was not big enough (Imagine having to pay a guy to marry you who then decides to burn you!)
  2. About two thirds of women in Lagos (Where I lived for a considerable time) have reported domestic violence.  I am not surprised, I do not think there was any person I went to school with that did not know of someone who had been beaten by her husband.  I still remember the horror of watching female extended family members coming to speak to the elders about their husbands beating them and each and every time, the husbands would be cajoled into promising they would try harder and the wives were sent back home to work it out! I was horrified even then but that was the way of things – You do not leave your husband whatever he does. 
  3. 80% of women in rural Egypt are subjected to domestic violence
  4. South Africa seems to have the highest rates of violence against women, though not confined to domestic violence. 
  5. Turkey has 42% of women aged over 15 (yes, fifteen!) citing that they have been victims of domestic violence.
And this is a scary statistic from Women's Aid UK - Every week, 2 women are killed as a result of domestic violence.  Here?, in the UK?! That is a horrifying statistic.
Reading through the Statistics provided by Women's Aid, it is terrible to see the impact domestic violence has on families, particularly children.

A solution to Domestic Violence?

What is the solution?  Is there one or is it just another symptom of the human condition

Occasionally, while living here in the UK, I am stunned by the things that people will accept as normal.  I have lived in a place where your choices can be pretty limited so living here, I feel no one has to put up with a situation that harms them emotionally or physically - There are options here. 

So why do some women (or even men) consider it their lot in life to put up with domestic violence? What makes some people trapped?

I really wish I understood…

Some incidences of Domestic Violence

Do you need a way out? Away from Domestic Violence?

Women's Aid
Freephone 24 hour Helpline with a website which has a lot of help and information about how to help people affected by domestic violence and also how and where to get help yourself.

Refuge UK
Another UK service to help victims of domestic Violence

The Hotline US
A national freephone service for domestic violence victims in the US.

Domestic Violence Resource Centre
Another US based site that provides options for people suffering from domestic Violence.

Updated: 03/31/2012, MuminBusiness
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Have you experienced Domestic Violence? How can we help?

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Guest on 06/28/2012

As long as women are still seen as property and the government,religious groups, and society refuse to allow them the same rights and respect as a man , domestic violence will continue.

MuminBusiness on 03/05/2012

Indeed they are and pretty scary that some ladies live like this. Thanks for commenting!

lucyl on 03/05/2012

Some shocking stats there.

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