My Domestic Abuse Alert

For the last week and a half, I have been thinking about a recent domestic abuse incident, particularly one in which a woman with two children was beaten and left dead by her husband.

This incident and the media response, including all the interventions that a lot of wonderful and good people out there have been, and are putting in place have all contributed to my deep state of thought about how we got to where we are, and how we will move on to where we ought to be, as people, individuals, families and society.

People just don’t become abusers overnight. And whilst it’s normal to expect abuse to stop instantly and for abusers like the man to be punished, I suspect that it’s a lot deeper than that. The root causes of abuse run deep through the veins of so many people. It is something that we will have to keep speaking about, continue to provide on-going support to affected victims and intervention programmes that will not only create more awareness but proffer long lasting solutions.

In the meantime, lets not just comment, talk, pray, cry, support victims etc. However let’s be more aware of how we may be enabling this evil in our society and within the family.

Therefore next time we see a single mature woman, lets not look down on her as though there’s something wrong with her and let’s be careful when we give generic prophetic words promising that her husband is round the corner. A true word from the Lord will meet with conviction and bring fulfilment in its own time. These ladies don’t need any further pressure which is why some think that staying in an abusive relationship is better after all if that means they will be married.

Next time you, as a single person consider marriage to be the ultimate goal in life and therefore unwilling to enjoy your life until you find the right man or a woman to marry you, remember that marriage is instituted by God and should serve His purpose, and not yours. You can’t therefore use the average marrying age to determine your readiness or God’s plan.

Next time we are tempted to take sides between couples going through a difficult patch, let’s think twice about what we may or may not be endorsing.

Next time you, as a single person, are tempted to overlook or rationalise that abusive behaviour of your boyfriend or girlfriend, remember that it’s way easier to end a relationship than a marriage. You don’t want to live in hell on earth.

Next time you, as a married person condone abuse towards you or your children, remember that your marriage isn’t just about you but affects others i.e. Children and society.

Next time you tell an abused person to go and pray some more, remember you may be empowering the perpetrator or encouraging the victim to their grave.

Next time, we are deliberating on how to further support victims of abuse, lets remember to pray for those who are responsible for the abuse in the first place, and think of what we can do to support them so that the cycle can be broken.

Next time, you as a dad or a mum raising young children propose to make decisions that are personally convenient without considering how it may impact on your kids or their future, think about the way you are positioning your children for the future. Abusers are not born, they are made.

Next time you know of someone who abuses his/her partner: physically, mentally or any other way, and you do nothing, please be aware that you may not want to carry on your head, the guilt of not saying or doing something to prevent someone’s death, mental crisis or disability.

And finally, next time, you as a person become complacent to the degree that you almost lose control of your head or mouth, don’t wait until help comes to you, seek for help immediately; for your own sake and for others, you will be glad you did.