In 2001 a close relative was brutally murdered by her ex-partner. She was a 34 year old student nurse with 2 small children. Following a breakdown of their relationship, they were at the stage of finding alternative accommodation and moving on when the tragic event took place.
There’s another world for women running parallel to the glossy magazines that are generally on display on shops shelves, bill boards and social media. Mothers comforting a baby, creating homely activities, cooking and outlandish weddings are all but a few of the stereo-typical lives women really live.
Generally women have it all together; wearing matching colours/outfits with their husbands have the 2.4 children, whit picket fence house, etc. Women in or out of a church setting enjoy being the nurturers, home makers and are proud and confident to be seen as such. Having, doing and wanting nice things is living life with loved ones! But this should not come at the cost of one’s safety and emotional well-being – in any setting.
I myself have been in the middle of preventing a man from physically attacking a friend while she was asleep. We have all been witnesses to relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours who too have ended up with re-occurring bruises and black eyes or in hospital with broken limbs, cracked ribs, requiring stitches, mis-carriages and even death. All carried out by teenagers to old men inflicting such pain and abuse – in any setting.
I used to wonder how they could endure such ‘grief’ as I was brought up to defend myself. Our household depicted ‘self-defence’ as a moral standing and I think my mother being a very small 4ft 11” woman one of five girls (similarly small in stature) and myself being one of three girls, our upbringing lacked male physical back-up, so we as females improvised. My father too endorsed this position as he watched his father physically abuse his mother and his mission was that no man was to inflict such terror on his daughters. Looking back the mere belief that we had this approach of defence is concerning – in any setting.
Having to ‘protect’ myself…why?