Say NO to violence!

Break the silence, educate, be proactive and share this knowledge.

Violence is not only physical, it comes in various forms: emotional or psychological, economic, social or spiritual.

The most commonly known form of violence is physical. It involves punching, hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, choking, or using weapons.

However there are other forms where violence can occur.

  • Emotional or Psychological abuse happens when a person uses words or actions to control, frighten, isolate or take away another person's self-respect. Such as put downs, name calling or insults.

  • Economic or Financial abuse happens when someone uses money or property to control or exploit another person. It involves taking someone's money or property without permission, withholding someone's money so they cannot pay for things.

  • Threatening or intimidating: stalking, yelling, shouting, name-calling, swearing, (this could be spoken or in writing, via SMS or Facebook)

  • Damaging your property or harming your pets or any other abuse to control or dominate. Preventing from seeing friends, family, or isolating from others.

  • Neglect. Spouses/partners have a duty to care for each other. Adults have a duty to care for their dependent children as well as dependent parents. Neglect happens when a family member, who has a duty to care for another, fails to provide for that person's basic needs. It involves failing to provide proper food or warm clothing, failing to provide a safe and warm place to live.

  • Violence based on so-called "honour". This happens when family members believe that the victim has behaved in ways that will bring shame or dishonour to the family. Violence, from the perpetrator's perspective, is used to protect family's honour. The victim are usually female. Example, the family might not approve of: dating or talking to boys, having sexual relationships outside marriage, wearing what the parents believe is the wrong clothing, or refusing a forced marriage.

  • Forced marriage where one or both people do not consent to the marriage. It is not the same as arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, both people consent to the marriage. Family members sometimes use physical violence, abduction, forced confinement or emotional abuse to force the person into the marriage. Even if parents try to force their child to marry because they think it is good for the child, using threats or violence is a crime.

Learn more about the various forms of violence.

Here are some ways to identify if you or someone is being abused.

  • You automatically feel a sense of dread, fear, or unease when a certain person comes home from work, or enters the room.

  • You have recurring physical symptoms like headaches, fatigue, or rashes, at or after times of interaction with or proximity to certain people.

  • Someone else in your family is being abused. If someone close to you is being abused, you are being emotionally abused. Abusing a child is a favourite way for abusers to abuse indirectly a parent or grandparent.

  • You find your circle of activity getting smaller and smaller. You are becoming isolated progressively from your friends and loved ones.

  • You notice that you do not feel as competent as you did before you began associating with or began a relationship with a certain person.

  • You don't express your opinions or feelings as much as you did before. It doesn't seem safe, they now seem unimportant, or would only cause trouble.

  • The other person in the relationship has two standards of behaviour, one for the outside world where he is well respected and competent, and another for home.

Learn more on how to identify violence.

Violence is against the law.

Do you know what to do if you are a victim, or witness or become aware that someone is a victim of violence? Visit this site to find out what you can do and the organisations that can help.

Violence occurs in relationships other than spousal/partnered or parent-child relationships.

Just the other day, a parent brazenly excused years of abusive behaviour, stating that the abuser was the oldest son and it was an issue between him and his younger sister, further, that no one outside the family should interfere as it was not their business.

This uneducated and archaic mentality still exists today. The parent has allowed and reinforced the abusive behaviour and as a result the perpetrator, (i.e. the son, now an adult), sees no wrong-doing in his behaviour and has no remorse.

Without intervention, this behaviour will go on for many years, if not a lifetime and may even perpetuate to future generations. The effect is like a ripple in a pond, from a drop of water.

Education is of utmost importance. This post from an ill-informed women is a great example of the importance of Education.

Get help and support.

Break the silence, educate, be proactive and share this knowledge.

(M.Odtojan)

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